Picture: 123RF/RICHARD THOMAS
Picture: 123RF/RICHARD THOMAS

Cricket in SA is set to resume following the coronavirus lockdown on June 27 with a made-for-television event featuring three teams made up of the country’s leading players.

Acting Cricket SA CEO Jacques Faul said government approval had been sought for an event to be played without spectators at SuperSport Park in Centurion.

An experimental format will be used, Faul said. It will be an opportunity for players to get together after being in lockdown since March and to provide match practice ahead of possible series against the West Indies and India in late July and August.

The players will assemble three days earlier in what Cricket SA’s medical officer Shuaib Manjra described as a “sanitised ecosystem”, with all players being tested for Covid-19 when they arrived and again five days after the event.

“We’re looking at the minimum number of people being there for the event to happen and be broadcast, which is about 200,” said Manjra.

“We will limit the number of team staff, otherwise it will just be the broadcast personnel, officials, players and stadium staff. There will also be thorough cleaning of the stadium beforehand.”

Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa announced on May 30 that professional sports could resume training, subject to government approval, but a court ruling that lockdown regulations are unconstitutional complicated that decision, with new regulations needing to be gazetted.

Faul said he is  confident that the legal issues could be overcome. “Hopefully we’ll be playing again at the end of June and we’ll start with the Proteas players, for obvious reasons,” he said.

AFP