Cricket Australia (CA) on Tuesday announced that they had “no choice but to postpone the forthcoming South Africa tour due to the coronavirus pandemic” in the African nation. Currently, South Africa is battling a second wave of COVID-19 and a new variant of the virus.
Cricket Australia interim chief Nick Hockley said the medical advice was not to travel. “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,” he said.
“This decision has not been made lightly and we are extremely disappointed, especially given the importance of continuing international cricket at this time.
“However, we have been consistent since the start of the pandemic that the health and safety of our people is always our number one priority and unfortunately despite best efforts to agree a biosecurity plan, the risks are simply too great at this time.”
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday said the country had “passed the peak” of its second coronavirus infection wave, but the virus remains a major problem. Authorities are planning to vaccinate at least 67 percent of the population by year’s end.
There are currently no contingencies in place for the tour, although Hockley suggested the Tests could be played at a later date. “We look forward to playing the series against CSA at a date to be confirmed in due course,” he said.
The tour was originally scheduled for February and March.