Australia’s cricket tour to South Africa is CANCELLED due to ‘unacceptable health risk’ as country battles a second wave of Covid with mutant strain
- Cricket Australia confirmed next month’s three-Test series will be cancelled
- Decision comes as the hosts cannot contain the virus, causing a health concern
- Team who could now miss out on place in the inaugural world Test championship
Cricket Australia confirmed next month’s three-Test series due to start on March 3 will not go ahead as the hosts struggle to contain the virus.
The cancellation is a massive blow for Tim Paine’s men who could now miss out on a place in the final of the inaugural world Test championship.
Cricket Australia confirmed next month’s three-Test series due to start on March 3 will not go ahead as the hosts struggle to contain the virus. Pictured: captain of the Australian team Tim Paine
‘Due to the public health situation in South Africa, which includes a second wave and new variant of the virus, and following extensive due diligence with medical experts, it has become clear that travelling from Australia to South Africa at this current time poses an unacceptable level of health and safety risk to our players, support staff and the community,’ said Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia’s interim CEO.
‘We acknowledge the significant amount of work by CSA in planning for the tour, during which we made it clear that CA was prepared to take on additional cost and effort to make the series happen.
‘This decision has not been made lightly and we are extremely disappointed, especially given the importance of continuing international cricket at this time, our valued relationship with CSA, and our aspirations to compete in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship.’
South Africa (pictured) is currently facing a second wave and has been exposed to the new variant of the virus
Cricket Australia said they hoped to play the series at a later date.
‘As difficult and disappointing a decision as this is, especially for Justin (Langer), Tim (Paine) and the team, we have a duty of care to our people and their health and safety can’t be compromised.
‘We look forward to playing the series against CSA at a date to be confirmed in due course and we send CSA and the people of South Africa our very best wishes for a successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and a return to normality soon.’
Australia’s bid to earn a spot in the world Test championship is now out of their hands.
New Zealand are in the box seat to secure one of the spots, while the four-Test series between India and England will determine who snares the other spot.
The Australian team’s (pictured) chance to earn a spot in the world Test championship is now out of their hands
India, England and Australia are all in the mix for that spot depending on the result of that series.
CA isn’t expected to send any of Australia’s Test stars to the five-match T20 tour of NZ, given they already stated they wouldn’t make changes even if the Test series in South Africa got cancelled.
But coach Justin Langer, who was due to go to South Africa with the Test team, could now coach the T20 outfit in NZ.
Cricket Australia said they hoped to play the series at a later date. Pictured: cricket grounds in South Africa