Australia monitoring virus security in SA
Breaches at bio-secure bubbles have cast doubt on the country’s ability to host touring teams
Melbourne — Cricket Australia is still planning for the tour of SA to go ahead in February but is monitoring the health situation after a bio-security failure in the country forced the postponement of England’s one-day international series.
England and SA’s cricket boards called off the series after the players were subjected to a number of Covid-19 scares inside the teams’ bio-secure bubbles in Cape Town. The breaches have cast doubt on SA’s ability to host touring teams, including Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Australia who are all set to play there in coming months.
Australia are scheduled to play three Tests in SA in February but have yet to fix dates with SA authorities.
“The tour of SA is part of the World Test Championship and the Future Tour Programme,” a Cricket Australia spokesman said on Tuesday. “We will continue to plan for the tour and monitor the bio-security situation.”
SA has recorded more than 800,000 coronavirus infections and more than 21,000 deaths related to Covid-19, the most in Africa. International tours have gone ahead with players confined to bio-secure hubs since elite cricket resumed midyear after a months-long shutdown due to Covid-19.
England successfully hosted Australia, Pakistan and West Indies from July to September, while India’s tour of Australia has proceeded without incident so far.
In New Zealand, eight members of Pakistan’s 53-person touring party tested positive for Covid-19 while in quarantine but the team were cleared to leave their managed facility in Christchurch on Tuesday after no positive results from a fifth round of testing.
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