Minister’s approval of England tour a huge relief for Cricket SA
Good news for local fans, while the visitors are expected to ease CSA’s financial burden to the tune of nearly R50m
SA will host England in November after sports minister Nathi Mthethwa gave the green light to the limited-overs tour on Tuesday.
Cricket SA (CSA) needed final approval from Mthethwa after the department of home affairs on Monday gave the embattled body the go-ahead to host the visitors.
The tour is expected to ease CSA’s financial burden to the tune of nearly R50m. The organisation missed out on $10m (R165m) when India could not come to SA for a whistle-stop limited-overs tour due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions in August. The approval also means that CSA is able to meet the England and Wales Cricket Board’s Tuesday deadline to either commit to the tour or withdraw.
The three ODIs and three T20s are scheduled for Newlands in Cape Town and Boland Park in Paarl. England are scheduled to arrive in SA on November 17. The visitors will charter flights at their own cost to SA and back.
Now that the series will take place‚ SA can look forward to their first bit of international cricket since the India ODI series in March was curtailed by the spread of the coronavirus.
SA’s home international season was complete by the time the virus shut down sport across the world‚ but still needed to complete what remained of their domestic season.
The visitors‚ on the other hand‚ were able to fit in a shortened four-day competition‚ their T20 tournament and the hosting of three international teams — the West Indies‚ Pakistan and Australia — across various formats in what was a summer like no other. The matches were played at the Rose Bowl in Southampton and Old Trafford in Manchester as both grounds have on-site hotels.
The trip will be England’s second to SA in less than a year after they were the 2019/2020 summer’s main attraction. They won the Test series 3-1‚ the T20 series 2-1 and drew the ODI series 1-1.
The sports ministry’s decision to grant permission for the tour may be beneficial to the players and the organisation‚ but it comes against the backdrop of Mthethwa issuing CSA with a notice of government intervention on October 14. The body has a deadline of October 27 to respond.
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