Sourav Ganguly, BCCI president on Tuesday, said India’s tour to South Africa remains on schedule, and they’re keeping a close watch on the situation surrounding the emergence of the new COVID-19 variant.
There has been growing concern about the spread of the new COVID-19 variant, named Omicron, which was first reported in South Africa.
Sourav Ganguly: The Tour Is On As There Is Enough Time To Decide Upon
The Indian cricket team is scheduled to play three Tests, three ODIs, and four T20Is in South Africa from December 17 to January 26. For now, CSA continues to build a strict bio-bubble for the tour and has proper protocols in place.
BCCI has put a hold on the selection meeting for the upcoming all-format tour of South Africa. It is learned that BCCI is awaiting clearance from the government before going ahead with the tour. South Africa has been identified as an ‘at-risk country’ after the emergence of the new Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus.
“The tour is on as things stand till now. We still have time to decide. The first Test is scheduled from December 17. We will ponder about it,” Sourav Ganguly told reporters on the sidelines of a promotional event.
India plays the final 2nd Test against New Zealand in Mumbai and is scheduled to depart to Johannesburg from there on December 8 or 9 on a chartered flight.
“Players’ security and health has always been BCCI’s first priority, we will do everything possible for this. We will see what happens in the days to come,” said Sourav Ganguly.
On the tour, India plays three Tests, three ODIs, and four T20s. India, A tour of South Africa, will continue, the detection of a new Covid-19 variant in the country notwithstanding. The Indian A team is presently in South Africa for three unofficial Tests. With one of the Tests being completed, the team is still in the country, and the unofficial Tests will continue.
Sourav Ganguly Backed Hardik Pandya To Make A Comeback After Successfully Recovering From Injury
The former India captain also backed out-of-favour allrounder, Hardik Pandya, to regain his place in the side after returning to full fitness.
“He is a good cricketer. He’s not fit, that’s why he’s not there in the team. He’s young, I hope he makes a comeback after recovering from his injury,” said Sourav Ganguly.
Recently, legendary Kapil Dev questioned Hardik Pandya’s role as an allrounder in the India team after he had stopped bowling following his back surgery.
“Don’t compare him (Hardik) with Kapil Dev. He belonged to a different league,” Sourav Ganguly concluded.
Hardik Pandya was not selected for the recent home T20I series against New Zealand at home, which India won 3-0. Despite being given multiple chances, Hardik Pandya did not fulfil his duties as an all-rounder as he concentrated on his batting and hardly did any bowling be it in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 or even at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.
Now, it has been learned that the player has asked the national selectors to not consider him for a while as he wants to focus on regaining full fitness.
Hardik Pandya is said to be eyeing a return to full-time bowling and has asked the selectors to give him time for the same. In fact, the last time the all-rounder bowled in the IPL was in 2019 and had played the 2020 edition only as a pure batter.