India A Tour Of South Africa Will Continue Despite New Covid-19 Variant
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India A Tour Of South Africa Will Continue Despite New Covid-19 Variant

India A
India A. Image Credits: Twitter

India, A tour of South Africa, will continue, the detection of a new Covid-19 variant in the country notwithstanding. The visiting team, currently based in Bloemfontein, has had a series of meetings with the Cricket South Africa (CSA) officials and the local medical team and has decided to complete the three-match series.

However, there is no immediate information on the Indian team’s tour, scheduled for next month, but the CSA said that they are monitoring the situation and will keep the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) informed.

South Africa Cricket Team (Image Credit: Twitter)
South Africa Cricket Team (Image Credit: Twitter)

India A Tour Of South Africa Will Continue Despite New Covid-19 Variant

The senior team’s tour to South Africa for 3 Tests, 3 ODIs, and 4 T20Is, starting on December 17, is on at the moment, although the situation is being considered as fluid.

“We are in contact with the BCCI and there is no prejudice to the Indian tour to South Africa at this stage. We will, of course, continue to monitor developments regarding the spread of the virus and keep the BCCI informed. As CSA we remain committed to ensuring that all visiting teams and Proteas players are afforded a safe environment to play cricket,” Lawson Naidoo, the head of CSA, said on Friday (November 26) evening.

Cricket South Africa Image Source : TWITTER/CSAOFFICIAL
Cricket South Africa Image Source: TWITTER/CSAOFFICIAL

Meanwhile, the India A management has been assured of all safety measures. Besides, they have been told that the new variant, which, in scientific parlance is known as B.1.1.529, has been found only in the northern part of the country, and Bloemfontein is on the southern side.

“The distance between the two places is over 1000 miles and we have been told that there is no immediate health hazard. We have had discussions with the CSA officials and the medical team. The team hotel and the ground area have been sanitized and we’re in a bio-bubble,” team manager Anil Patel told Cricbuzz on Friday. “At this stage, we have decided to stay on.”

The discovery of a new strain of Covid-19 in South Africa has cast a shadow on India’s tour of the country. The Indian cricket team is scheduled to play three Tests, three ODIs, and three T20Is in South Africa from December 17 to January 26, but the fact that British Government announced that the country has returned to the red list because of the spread of the new variant, B.1.1.529 has put the tour in jeopardy.

Abhimanyu Easwaran Scored A Ton In Practice Game

The visiting team has also had conversations with the BCCI officials. Two new members – Deepak Chahar and Ishan Kishan – joined the squad on Thursday, and the team is scheduled to leave for India on December 10. The new Covid variant has been causing panic the world over, and the Indian government has ordered rigorous screening and testing of travellers from the country.

Abhimanyu Easwaran
Abhimanyu Easwaran

Friday was the last day of the India A team’s first match, and the play was washed out, with the match ending in a draw. The team is scheduled to play two more four-day games, which start on November 29 and December 6.

Abhimanyu Easwaran compiled a solid hundred, but skipper Priyank Panchal missed out on one by only four runs as India A reached 308 for four against South Africa A before bad light forced early stumps to the third day’s play in the first unofficial Test. The 26-year-old Abhimanyu Easwaran made 103 off 209 balls and hit 16 boundaries during his stay in the middle.

Right after getting to the three-figure mark, he was dismissed by fast-medium bowler Lutho Sipamla. Priyank Panchal made 96 runs falling to left-arm spinner George Linde. India, A skipper, found the fence 14 times during his 171-ball knock at the Mangaung Oval on Thursday.

Brief scores:

South Africa A: 509 for 7 declared in 135.3 overs (Pieter Malan 163, Tony de Zorzi 117; Navdeep Saini 2/67, Arzan Nagwaswalla 2/75). India A: 308 for 4 in 93.1 overs (Abhimanyu Easwaran 103, Priyank Panchal 96, Prithvi Shaw 48, Lutho Sipamla 2-73)

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