While the ODI series between the hosts India and the visitors South Africa has already been cancelled in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the visiting players are still in India. The Proteas players will land in Kolkata on Monday (16th March) according to the initial plan, and on Tuesday (17th March) morning, they will take the flight from Kolkata to South Africa via Dubai.
According to the initial planning, they had to play the ODI matches on 12th, 15th and 18th March at Dharamsala, Lucknow and Kolkata respectively. But after the Dharamsala ODI abandoned (due to the rain washout), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) decided to postpone the remainder of this series.
South African will travel from Kolkata instead of Delhi or Mumbai
After leaving Lucknow, Proteas players will land Kolkata on Monday. Later, on the next day morning, they will travel for their home. Initially, they had the plan to start their returning journey from either Delhi or Mumbai. But ultimately they have chosen Kolkata as it is one of the safest places in India at present.
While the Proteas team had the plan to play the last ODI at Eden Gardens (Kolkata), their hotel was planned in Alipore, which was near the match venue. But the plan has been changed as they will now likely to stay in Rajarhat hotel due to closer to the airport.
Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) President Abhishek Dalmiya said according to TNN, “Authorities wanted them to stay closer to the airport, hence Westin was the best option. CAB will arrange doctors to provide support. Our office bearers will be there too. We are in touch with BCCI as well as Bengal government officials. The Bidhannagar Police Commissioner is also looking into the matter.”
He further added, “They (SA team) will land here tomorrow (Monday) afternoon and leave day after morning. We have briefed the chief minister about the developments.”
Bidhannagar Commissioner of Police, LN Meena, has only claimed that the final decision hasn’t been taken about the hotel changes yet.
A senior Bengal government official hasn’t also clarified on this matter.
The official said according to TNN, “However, with the match being called off, it was felt the South African team should stay in a hotel closer to the airport. Accordingly, the BCCI was informed today when we learnt that the SA team is sticking to their Kolkata travel schedule. Wherever the team stays, all necessary health precautions will be taken as the Central and state health mandates.”
The BCCI has wished to play this home ODI series against South Africa later.