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AFP
January 22, 2021

SA ‘confident’ over Australia tour, Covid-19 permitting

Sports

AFP
January 22, 2021

JOHANNESBURG: Cricket South Africa interim board chairman Zak Yacoob said on Thursday he was confident that Australia’s Test tour of South Africa would go ahead, although he cautioned that the unpredictability of the Covid-19 virus could yet cause plans to change.

“I had a chat with the chair of Cricket Australia (Earl Eddings) about a week ago and we agreed that the tour is going to go ahead,” he told a virtual press conference.

A three-Test tour was originally scheduled to take place during February and March but an aborted limited overs tour by England late last year led to speculation that either the tour might not take place or that it could be switched to Perth in Western Australia.

The tour is now expected to go ahead in March or April.

“We are going to ensure that our facilities are as good as possible — as good as necessary,” said Yacoob. “We agreed that we learn every day - but that is not on the basis that we did anything that was wrong when England were here.”

England went home in December without playing three scheduled One-day Internationals after two members of the hotel staff tested positive for Covid and it was reported that two members of the touring party had also tested positive — although both tests were later shown to be “false positives”.

Sri Lanka subsequently played two Test matches in South Africa in December and January without any breaches of a bio-secure environment.

“None of the England people were affected. That’s the bottom line,” said Yacoob. “But we are learning that the virus changes all the time. As it changes things must change.”