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Cricket South Africa (CSA)

Khaya Zondo made his debut when India visited South Africa for an ODI series in 2018. Three years earlier, he had spent an entire series on the bench in India. (File Photo/AFP)
Khaya Zondo made his debut when India visited South Africa for an ODI series in 2018. Three years earlier, he had spent an entire series on the bench in India. (File Photo/AFP)

Khaya Zondo Lost Respect For AB de Villiers As Skipper As He Blocked The Batsman’s Inclusion In ODIs Vs India In 2015

Khaya Zondo, an aggressive middle-order batsman, recalled how the-then South African skipper AB de Villiers blocked his inclusion in the playing XI during the Proteas’ ODI series against India in 2015.

After Thami Tsolekile, another South African cricketer has lashed out at AB de Villiers for his approach during his days as an international player.

Khaya Zondo expressed the hurt he felt in 2015  PTI
Khaya Zondo expressed the hurt he felt in 2015  PTI

Khaya Zondo Said AB de Villiers Called Him Aside And Mentioned That He Won’t Play In The ODI Series Against India

Khaya Zondo was set to make his debut in the ODI series against India in 2015 after JP Duminy’s injury in the third game. However, the South African management decided to rope in Dean Elgar as a replacement for JP Duminy. Dean Elgar, who was not even in the original squad, played the last two matches of the series.

As per reports, the team management had picked Khaya Zondo in the playing XI for the final ODI, but skipper AB de Villiers threatened to walk out of the tour if Khaya Zondo played. Khaya Zondo revealed all details of his conversations with AB de Villiers during that period in his prepared submission to the Transformation Ombudsman, Adv. Dumisa Ntsebeza.

AB de Villiers retired from international cricket in 2018 BCCI
AB de Villiers retired from international cricket in 2018 BCCI





“The captain (AB de Villiers) called me over to the side, away from the rest of the team and mentioned to me he was the one who felt I should not play. He was trying to explain himself and he was taking full responsibility for the decision,” Zondo said during the Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) Hearings.

Khaya Zondo revealed the anguish he suffered after being left out of South Africa’s ODI team to play against India in 2015, a decision Cricket South Africa (CSA) ruled was unfair as it violated their selection policy. Dean Elgar was slotted into the XI in place of an injured JP Duminy, despite Khaya Zondo being the back-up batsman in the squad, and David Miller was kept in the team, allegedly at the insistence of then captain AB de Villiers.

Khaya Zondo Lost Respect For AB de Villiers As Skipper

Khaya Zondo, who finally made his ODI debut in 2018, added that he lost all respect he had for his hero AB de Villiers after he blocked his selection.

“I remember in the moment of him explaining himself to me, losing all respect for him as a captain, and as someone I looked up to as a cricketing hero of mine because I could not believe this guy was trying to justify himself to me, and it came across as if I should accept this decision because the decision came from him,” Zondo continued.

Khaya Zondo concluded by saying he detached himself from the squad after his conversation with AB de Villiers because he understood his services were not required. He labeled the phase of watching other South African cricketers get opportunities ahead of him as the ‘hardest part’ of his life.

Kyle Abbott was dropped for Vernon Philander to meet the guidelines in the semi-finals of 2015 World Cup
Kyle Abbott was dropped for Vernon Philander to meet the guidelines in the semi-finals of the 2015 World Cup

The South African cricket team had a troubled year in 2015. Following their defeat in the World Cup semifinal earlier that year, there were reports that AB de Villiers had been forced to play Vernon Philander in the XI instead of Kyle Abbott. In January 2018, Khaya Zondo was named in South Africa’s One Day International (ODI) squad for their series against India. He made his ODI debut for South Africa against India on 4 February 2018.

Ashwell Prince squeezes a run off Danish Kaneria © AFP
Ashwell Prince squeezes a run off Danish Kaneria © AFP

It Was No Dream To Represent South Africa After Being Targeted Racially: Ashwell Prince

Ashwell Prince, a Proteas batsman who scored 3,665 runs at an average of 41.64 in 66 Tests, claimed he had been labelled a “quota player” and was not made to feel welcome in the national team.

CSA has for several years set racial “targets” to ensure diversity in the team and several players said they had to fight accusations that they were selected only because of their colour.

Ashwell Prince at a press conference
Ashwell Prince at a press conference © Getty Images

Ashwell Prince: It Was No Dream To Represent South Africa

Allegations of racial discrimination in South African cricket have been made during a month of hearings, with one star claiming he was blasted as a “quota player” and that representing the national team was “no dream”.

Another cricketer said a modified version of the 1970s pop song “Brown Girl in the Ring” was used to single him out. What Cricket South Africa (CSA) described as a Social Justice and Nation Building project was sparked by current fast bowler Lungi Ngidi’s support for the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020.

Lungi Ngidi. Picture: REUTERS
Lungi Ngidi. Picture: REUTERS

Public criticism of Lungi Ngidi’s comments, including from some former players, led to a statement from a group of black former international cricketers that they had suffered discrimination during their careers. An independent ombudsman, advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, has heard testimony from some prominent former players, including Ashwell Prince and Paul Adams.

“You think that you’re playing for your country, that you’re living a dream, but it was no dream,” said Prince, who now coaches the Cape Cobras franchise team.

Ashwell Prince revealed how three fellow national teammates had used the quota issue to insult him during a franchise game the week before he scored a Test century against Australia as an opening batsman, despite not normally batting in that position.

“I raised my bat to my parents, then to my wife on the other side of the stadium and then, lastly and reluctantly, I raised my bat to my teammates,” he said.

“If I had a choice, I wouldn’t have raised my bat to them. We weren’t a team.”

Ashwell Prince said team management including Gary Kirsten as a coach, had rejected a request from another player of colour to discuss South Africa’s history during a team bonding weekend. He said if such discussions had taken place, the Black Lives Matter issue might not have been so controversial.

Paul Adams Had Not Initially Complained But His Wife Pointed Out He Was Racially Being Targeted

Paul Adams, a spin bowler who took 134 wickets in 45 Tests, said he had been called a “brown shirt” in after-match fines meetings when teammates adapted the words of a Boney M song “Brown Girl in the Ring”.

He said he had not initially complained, but his girlfriend, now his wife, had pointed out that he was being racially stereotyped. Several white former players, including current coach Mark Boucher, director of cricket Graeme Smith and recently retired star batsman AB de Villiers, have been mentioned during the hearings. Mark Boucher has stated that he will respond to allegations against him.

South African spinner Paul Adams. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
South African spinner Paul Adams. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
Ashwell Prince said he felt unwelcome throughout his nine years in the national team, was labelled a “quota player” by his teammates on several occasions, and experienced racism in the dressing room. He has not been convinced the issues have been resolved to this day.
Ashwell Prince last played for South Africa in 2011 and detailed how the national team had an opportunity in that year to discuss their diverse backgrounds but rejected it, something that he feels has repercussions on the team dynamic today.
AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers. Image Credits: Twitter

Absence Of AB de Villiers Diminished South Africa’s Chances To Win 2021 T20I World Cup: Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra has said the absence of AB de Villiers has further diminished South Africa’s slim chances of winning the 2021 T20 World Cup.

AB de Villiers recently told Mark Boucher that he would not be playing for South Africa again. The Proteas great’s excellent form for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2021 had earlier rekindled hopes of his return to the national setup.

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers (Image Credit: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: South Africa’s Chances Of Progressing Would’ve Been Better If AB de Villiers Was There

While responding to a fan question in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra almost ruled out South Africa as a T20 World Cup contender in the absence of AB de Villiers.

“The chances of their progressing would have been better if AB de Villiers was there but if he is not there, it is impossible to get a player of his quality. The team still has good players but is it a team that can win the World Cup, I personally don’t think so,” said Aakash Chopra.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

While acknowledging that South Africa can upset a few top-ranked teams, the former India player pointed out that the side might be found wanting on the slightly slower and spin-friendly tracks.

“This team can do well, trouble a few people and spoil other teams’ parties but they might not be able to win the World Cup because wherever it happens, whether in India or the UAE, I have my reservations with regards to their chances to win the tournament in these conditions,” added Aakash Chopra.

While AB de Villiers has ruled himself out, South Africa has also not picked some of their experienced players like Faf du Plessis and Chris Morris for the T20I series against West Indies and Ireland. The Proteas team would be weakened further if such accomplished players are not in their scheme of things for the upcoming T20 World Cup.

Aakash Chopra: South Africa Failed To Win Either T20I Or ODI World Cup Even In AB de Villiers’ Presence

Aakash Chopra also highlighted that some of the best South African sides in the past have failed to win a World Cup.

“The first thing is whether they can win the World Cup is a big question. They did not win when AB de Villiers was there as well. They play well but something happens when they come for an ICC trophy,” said Aakash Chopra.

South African Cricket Team
South African Cricket Team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

While admitting that one can never rule out a team, the 43-year-old signed off by stating that South Africa does not seem to have a side that can go the full distance.

“At this point in time, the team is not that good. Let’s be fair, don’t count them out. They are a good team, they fight but they are also a team that struggles at the end and chokes at times. They don’t really know how to close the big moments. That problem has been there with this team,” observed Aakash Chopra.

South Africa is likely to field a young and rather inexperienced side in the T20 World Cup, with Temba Bavuma at the helm of affairs. It would certainly be a tall ask for them to win their maiden World Cup in unfamiliar conditions. South Africa has never won an ODI or T20I World Cup.

With two T20 World Cups scheduled within a span of one year, South Africa will be keen to see the likes of Janneman Malan, Kyle Verreynne, and Lizaad Williams making a mark in the series.

South Africa Test squad for WI tour

Dean Elgar (C), Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Sarel Erwee, Beuran Hendricks, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Keegan Petersen, Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Prenelen Subrayen, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams

South Africa squad for WI and IRE T20Is

Temba Bavuma (C), Quinton de Kock, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Sisanda Magala, Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius.

South Africa squad IRE ODIs

Temba Bavuma (C), Quinton de Kock, Heinrich Klaasen, Sisanda Magala, Keshav Maharaj, Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams, Andile Phehlukwayo

Australia Pic: Getty
Australia Pic: Getty

Australia May Not Qualify For WTC Final Even If England Wins 4th Test

Australia might not finally qualify for the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) final to be held at Lord’s in June 2021, even if England manages to defeat India in the fourth and final Test.

If visitors England wins the last 4th Test against India, then Australia was to qualify for the WTC final against already qualified New Zealand. But, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is now looking to bring forward Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) formal complaint against Cricket Australia (CA) if the latter qualifies for the WTC final.

ICC World Test Championship mace
File photo of ICC World Test Championship mace. Image Source ICC


Australia Postponed 3 Test Tour Of South Africa Citing Unacceptable Covid-19 Risk

Earlier this year, Australia postponed its three Tests tour of South Africa due to the rising Covid-19 pandemic in the rainbow nation and as a result, CSA lodged a formal complaint with the apex board ICC, seeking financial compensation and deduction in WTC points for the Kangaroos.

Australian team
Australian team. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

After initially agreeing to visit South Africa for three Tests, CA recently decided to postpone the tour, citing ‘unacceptable’ coronavirus risk.

Cricket South Africa claims that Australia’s decision to pull out raises questions over the credibility of the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC). With the Australia-South Africa series postponed, New Zealand became the first team to qualify for the final of the World Test Championship (WTC).

Australia’s Points May Be Deducted Which Means The Team Stand Eliminated Even If England Wins The 4th Test Against India

The decision may come from ICC to deduct points from the Kangaroos which means the side would be eliminated from the inaugural WTC even if England wins the final Test against India. CA has been given an appropriate time until the end of this week to meet the deadline set by the ICC to inform whether the matter can be resolved through good faith negotiations.

If that doesn’t happen, then the matter would be transferred from the dispute committee of the ICC, and it would be given to an independent panel, and they would be deciding whether CA was within its right to postpone the series in South Africa.

South African team
South African team celebrates a wicket. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The independent panel may also decide to award full 120 points for the postponed three Tests to South Africa. And, if that happens, it would ensure that Australia finishes below India even if Virat Kohli‘s team is beaten by England in the fourth and final Test in Ahmedabad. On the other hand, the panel may also decide to give the two boards CSA and Cricket Australia an opportunity to find an alternative date for the series before the current FTP finishes in April 2023.

Temba Bavuma Source: twitter
Temba Bavuma Source: twitter

Cricket South Africa Confirms Proteas Will Embark On Tour Of Ireland In July 2021

Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Monday confirmed that the Proteas will embark on a historic first full limited-overs tour of Ireland in July 2021.

The matches are scheduled to be played from July 11-25 and will comprise of three ODIs that will form part of the ICC’s Cricket World Cup Super League (CWCSL) program, and three T20Is, with the games played in Malahide and Stormont. Cricket South Africa’s Director of Cricket thanked Cricket Ireland for their willingness to adapt to the tour.

Faf du Plessis of South Africa in a World Cup Match against Ireland © Getty Images
Faf du Plessis of South Africa in a World Cup match against Ireland © Getty Images

Cricket South Africa Director Graeme Smith: Pleased To Finalize Dates And Thanks To Cricket Ireland For Cooperation And Willingness To Adapt Tour Schedule

It is the first time the Proteas will tour Ireland for more than one game, with their only other visit being in June 2007 when they played an ODI in Belfast.

“We are extremely pleased to have finalised the dates as quickly as we have and for that we would like to thank Cricket Ireland for their cooperation and willingness to adapt the tour schedule as we continue to finalize our winter programme,” commented Cricket South Africa Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith.

“The tour marks a significant new chapter in our history as we visit one of the fast-developing cricket nations for a six-match tour. Ireland have showed themselves to be highly competitive adversaries in recent years, with growing profile in the world game. It will also offer our players further international action in unfamiliar conditions, so we are looking forward to the contest,” he added.

Cricket South Africa Graeme Smith Source: Bloomberg
Cricket South Africa Graeme Smith Source: Bloomberg

Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland, added: “Given the significant changes to the Future Tours Programme due to the postponement of home series’ from 2020 – and all other countries having to reschedule fixtures over the period 2020-2023 – it has truly been a jigsaw puzzle for world cricket administrators to try to make the pieces fit.”

“We look forward to the season ahead and thank our touring opponents for working with us on this restructured season. For our senior men, there are six World Cup Super League matches included in the schedule, in which we welcome back South Africa who last played here 14 years ago.”

Cricket South Africa’s Graeme Smith said Ireland have shown themselves to be highly competitive opponents in recent years, with a growing profile in the world game.

South Africa Played 5 ODIs Against Ireland And Won All Of Them But Haven’t Met Each Other In T20Is

The Proteas have played and beaten Ireland in all of the five ODIs over the years, including meetings at 2007, 2011, and 2015 ICC Cricket World Cups. Their last showdown against each other was during a one-match tour to South Africa by the Irish in 2016.

South Africa have won their first ODI against Ireland in the 2007 World Cup by seven wickets, the second one by 42 runs in 2007, third at 2011 World Cup by 131 runs, fourth at 2015 World Cup by 201 runs, and fifth in 2017 by 206 runs.

Hashim Amla scored his 20th ODI ton and became the fastest to achieve the feat against Ireland. (Source: AP)
Hashim Amla scored his 20th ODI ton and became the fastest to achieve the feat against Ireland. (Source: AP)

The two teams haven’t played a T20I match against each other. In the 2015 World Cup, Hashim Amla scored 159 and Faf du Plessis scored 109. In 2017, Temba Bavuma scored 113 in ODIs.


Cricket South Africa Writes To ICC Terming Australia’s Decision To Postpone Tour Against Sportsmanship

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has written to the International Cricket Council (ICC), terming Australia’s decision against the spirit of sportsmanship following Australia’s decision to postpone their Test tour of South Africa.

After initially agreeing to visit South Africa for three Tests, Cricket Australia (CA) recently decided to postpone the tour, citing ‘unacceptable’ coronavirus risk.

Cricket South Africa Writes To ICC Terming Australia's Decision To Postpone Tour Against Sportsmanship 1Cricket South Africa Asked ICC To Consider Financial Losses That Less Wealthy Cricket Board Incurs

According to a report in ESPNCricinfo, the Cricket South Africa letter also claims that Australia’s decision to pull out will raise questions over the credibility of the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC). With the Australia-South Africa series postponed, New Zealand became the first team to qualify for the final of the World Test Championship (WTC) with either England, India, or Australia meeting the Kiwi in the final at Lords.

Cricket South Africa Writes To ICC Terming Australia's Decision To Postpone Tour Against Sportsmanship 2Further, CSA has also asked the ICC to consider the financial losses that less wealthy cricket boards have to incur when planned tours do not take place or get postponed. The report further added that while the CSA has not lodged a formal complaint about the matter, the letter to ICC is a “means of opening communication about finding the best possible outcome to maintain international cricket schedule during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

While announcing the decision to postpone the tour, Cricket Australia had explained that traveling from Australia to South Africa at this current time would have been an unacceptable level of health and safety risk to the visiting cricketers and Nick Hockley termed not touring the African country disappointing.

CA’s Interim CEO, Nick Hockley, had said on the matter: “We all knew the rules going in and I think that’s what’s made this decision really, really hard. We’ve done everything we possibly can to make the tour go ahead but in the end, we had to listen to the overwhelming medical advice, so we won’t be pursuing that with the ICC, but it’s just another reason why not being able to tour is so disappointing.”

Cricket South Africa Writes To ICC Terming Australia's Decision To Postpone Tour Against Sportsmanship 3Reacting to Australia’s decision to pull out, former skipper and Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) Director of Cricket Graeme Smith expressed disappointment. Graeme Smith said Cricket South Africa had been working very hard to try and meet all of Cricket Australia’s expectations.

He was quoted as saying in a Cricket South Africa release: “We are extremely disappointed by the decision of CA. CSA has been working tirelessly in recent weeks to ensure that we meet every single expectation of CA. This was set to be the longest tour in a BSE comprising a three-match Test series that was scheduled to begin with Australia’s arrival later in the month. So to be informed about the CA decision at the eleventh hour is frustrating.”

Meanwhile, South Africa went down to Pakistan by 95 runs in the Rawalpindi Test to concede the two-match series 0-2. Hasan Ali picked 10 wickets in the 2nd Test while Fawad Alam scored 109 in the 1st Test at Karachi which Pakistan won by 7 wickets.

Star India acquires Cricket South Africa media rights till 2024
Photo Credit: CSA.

South Africa Confirm Two Unnamed Players Tested COVID-19 Positive

South Africa on Friday confirmed that two unnamed players in their squad have tested positive for the dreaded coronavirus disease and was subsequently dropped from the squad ahead of their two-match Test series against Sri Lanka at South Africa.

Cricket South Africa announced the positive tests on Friday, a day before the team is due to enter a bio-bubble on the Highveld. The squad gathers on Saturday in Centurion, where all members will be tested again prior to 2 match Test series, to prepare for the first Test starting on December 26.

Sri Lanka vs South Africa
Sri Lanka vs South Africa-Image Credit: Google

South Africa Mentions 2 Unnamed Players Who Contacted The Disease Will No Longer Be Part Of Test Squad And Will Isolate Observing Protocols

Sri Lanka and South Africa will compete against each other in two Tests at Centurion from 26th December to 30th December and at Johannesburg from 3rd January to 7th January.

“The players will no longer form part of the Test team and will observe the Covid-19 protocols, including isolating with immediate effect,” Cricket South Africa said in a statement.

Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada (Image Credit: Google)

“CSA can also confirm that no other players in the currently named squad were deemed close contacts after contact tracing procedures were conducted.”

Three players were called up by the African team who are top-order batsman Raynard van Tonder and fast bowler Lutho Sipamla for the first time. The other player was allrounder Dwaine Pretorius, who successfully recovered from a hamstring injury. Star pacer Kagiso Rabada has not yet been medically cleared to join the squad after he suffered a groin injury.

South Africa’s ODI Series Against England Was Canceled Too After Covid-19 Outbreak

The African nation’s ODI series against England last week was also cancelled after successful completion of 3 match T20I series due to coronavirus cases in the home squad and among staff workers at the teams’ hotel.

Sri Lanka will first visit the African nation and then host England in Test series. The two-match leg against Proteas starts on December 26 in Centurion while the next and final Test will be at Johannesburg.

Quinton de Kock
Quinton De Kock. Image Credit: Twitter.

Following the two Tests against the Quinton de Kock-led outfit, Sri Lankan team will return home to face England in two Tests at Galle between January 14-26. Angelo Mathews is expected to return in the team for the home series after missing South African tour due to injury suffered in inaugural Lanka Premier League.

Quinton De Kock’s team includes several new faces like Sarel Erwee, Keegan Petersen, Migael Pretorius, Kyle Verreynne and Glenton Stuurman besides experienced cricketers like Lungi Ngidi, Dean Elgar, Faf Du Plessis and Rassie Van Der Dussen. Sri Lanka team also has several new faces like Minod Bhanuka, SantHush Gunathilaka and Asitha Fernando.

Jason Roy
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

CSA Interim Board Chairman Disappointed On England’s Calling Off South Africa Tour

On Thursday (10th December), Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) interim board chairman Zak Yacoob opened up his disappointment on England’s early calling off the South Africa tour due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in both camps.

England came to South Africa for the limited-overs series as they had to play three-match T20I series and three-match ODI series (part of the inaugural ICC Cricket World Cup Super League). The T20I series was completed as the visitors won the T20I series by completing whitewash (won by 3-0).

Then the first ODI was originally scheduled to be played on 4th December at Cape Town. But that match was postponed due to a COVID-19 positive result among the South African player. Later that match and the entire ODI series was rescheduled as Paarl would host the opening match of the series on 6th December. According to that reschedule, Cape Town would host the last two ODIs on 7th and 9th December respectively.

England, South Africa
Image Credit: Twitter


But the Paarl ODI was also abandoned due to the two COVID-19 positive results among the hotel staff. Later, two members of the English camp were also reported “unconfirmed positive tests” for the COVID-19. Soon, both cricket boards agreed to call off the ODI series, and then England left South Africa.

Zak Yacoob was disappointed on England’s leaving the country without playing the ODI series as he felt that it gave a wrong message to the world about South Africa. However, he doesn’t wish to blame the English team.

England, South Africa
Zak Yacoob (Image Credit: Twitter)

In a virtual press conference, Yacoob said, “What I want to negate is the idea that our provision of services was sub-standard, and that there is any justification for the English saying that they did not want to participate and going home. The facts are that ultimately (England) were negative.”

“We have gone into our protocols, and we think that (they) have been very good. There may have been an issue of psychological troubles. People may have felt nervous and complicated about the false positives, and so on. We do not wish to blame the English, but we wish to say absolutely and completely that any notion that they went away was our fault is completely wrong.” 

In my view, we have been managing the virus much better than England has been: CSA interim board chairman

After the England tour of South Africa, the African country also has the plan to host Sri Lanka, Australia and Pakistan in this season. But due to the COVID-19 outbreak during the ODI series against England, all the other international cricket matches planning in South Africa in this season were under deep trouble. However, after the discussions, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has agreed to send their players to South Africa for the two-match Test series.

Yacoob added, “There is an awkward narrative coming out that third world countries can’t manage these things properly. In my view, we have been managing the virus much better than England has been.”

Talking about the mistake from their side, Yacoob pointed out to allowing the visitors a little more laxity.

England, South Africa
Photo Credit: CSA.

He claimed, “The only criticism (of the protocols) I can make is that we were too lax with the English and their desire to do things that, in our strict view, they shouldn’t be doing. Unfortunately, we were stronger in preventing our players from doing things and we allowed the visitors a little more laxity.

“We favoured the visitors just a little, not enough to compromise the thing. The problem with that was that it did give rise to some feelings of unfairness as far as our players were concerned. The board regretted that a great deal.” 

The CSA interim board chairman has also confirmed that they don’t want an apology from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

Yacoob said, “I don’t think we want an apology from anyone, but if they say lies about us we will defend ourselves. I’m prepared to leave it on the basis that we do understand, although it is sometimes difficult for us to understand, the sensitivities of the matter. We’ve got this virus for the first time and we do understand how people can get put off. Therefore we have to give people the benefit of the doubt.” 

The two-match Test series between South Africa and Sri Lanka has been scheduled between 26th December 2020 and 7th January 2021.

ECB, South Africa, England
ECB announces the schedule for South Africa. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

England’s Three-Match ODI Series Against South Africa Is In Jeopardy

England’s tour of South Africa is in jeopardy after two unnamed members of the touring England party tested positive for the dreaded virus COVID-19. The announcement was followed by the abandonment of the first ODI at Paarl in South Africa.

The match had been called off half an hour before the start of play due to two members of staff at the Vineyard hotel testing positive for the coronavirus after which the England team and staff were tested again on Saturday 5th December evening.

England vs South Africa
England vs South Africa- Photo Credit: Getty Images.

England’s Tour Of South Africa Is In Jeopardy After 2 Members Of England Returned Positive For Covid-19

The limited-overs tour consisting of 3 ODIs,  after completion of 3 T20Is, that has already seen three South African players emerge having already tested positive is in jeopardy. Initially, Friday 4th December’s initial ODI series-opener at Cape Town was called off and postponed to Sunday, 6th December at Paarl while 2nd ODI was re-scheduled at Cape Town on 7th.

A joint statement from Cricket South Africa and the England and Wales Cricket Board read: “CSA and the ECB have agreed to cancel today’s One-Day International match, which was due to take place in Paarl. The decision was taken after two hotel staff members testing positive for COVID-19. As a precaution, the England players and management underwent an additional round of PCR tests on Saturday evening.”

Cricket South Africa
Cricket South Africa-Photo Credit: CSA.

“Following the test results, two members of the England touring party have returned unconfirmed positive tests for Covid-19. The players and management are now self-isolating in their rooms until further advice from the medical teams. The medical advice from both CSA and ECB is that the match cannot not take place. A decision on the remaining matches in the series will be taken once the results of the tests are ratified independently by medical experts.”

The ODI series is now in danger of being cancelled or postponed following this latest development. However, the 3 T20Is went smoothly with England winning all 3 to hand South Africa a whitewash.

An hour before the start of play, neither buses of teams arrived which raised suspicion at Boland Park, Paarl after which the announcement of an initial delay to proceedings was announced 25 minutes before the scheduled toss was about to happen.

Ashley Giles And Graeme Smith, Directors Of Cricket Regret Situation But Will Work Closely With Each Other To Assess Situation

England are still waiting for the results from a fresh round of testing that took place on Saturday night. The match was then officially abandoned at 9.35 am before a joint statement landed just over an hour later that confirmed the two cases among the touring party. Both Ashley Giles and Graeme Smith expressed regrets after the cancellation of 1st ODI at Paarl.

Ashley Giles, managing director of England men’s cricket, said: “We regret that we are unable to play in today’s ODI, but the welfare of the players and support staff is our primary concern and whilst we await the results of further tests the medical advice from both teams was that this game should not take place. We remain in constant dialogue with Cricket South Africa and will continue to work closely with them to determine how best to move forward.

CSA director of cricket, Graeme Smith added: “CSA is doing everything in our power to ensure that our top priority, which is the health, safety and welfare of players, support staff and all involved in this series is safeguarded. We are in continuous talks with the ECB as we navigate the situation under the guidance of our combined medical teams.”

Graeme Smith.
Graeme Smith. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Roy Davies who is the general manager of the Vineyard Hotel in Newlands has confirmed further contract tracing has begun amidst widespread uncertainty as questions have been raised on the manner the virus entered the bio-bubble and then seemingly spread.

Davies said: “At this stage, it is not clear how the staff members became infected as neither have left the bio-secure area since 16 November and they do not work on the same team or in the same area. Our Covid response team is endeavoring to establish all the facts and contact tracing is under way.”

“Both members of staff and a player who also tested positive on Friday are currently isolated in on-site apartments some distance from the hotel which have been kept sterilized and available for this purpose. ”

The two teams were scheduled to play against each other at Newlands on Monday and Wednesday for the second and third one-day internationals, but now owing to the crisis, the fixtures hang clearly in the balance. Cricket South Africa may incur losses in broadcast revenues and may also result in impact from upcoming visits this season by Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Australia.

England had already expressed their concerns and reservations with the integrity of the biosecurity arrangements for the tour after Friday’s positive result in the South African camp. The latest development will only intensify the concerns further after the latest positive test results in England’s party.

Eng vs SA
Eng vs SA

South Africa Reschedules ODI Against England After A Player Tested COVID-19 Positive

South Africa and England were scheduled to play the first game of the three-match ODI series on 4th December 2020, but the news came in that one player of South Africa has been tested COVID-19 positive. After the news arrived, Cricket South Africa confirmed the first ODI had been rescheduled on 6th December 2020 on Sunday.

Considering the safety and well-being of the cricketers in mind, CEOs of CSA and ECB have mutually agreed to postpone the first match to Sunday.

Cricket South Africa
Cricket South Africa-Photo Credit: CSA.

South Africa And England Cricket Board Confirm Postponement Of 1st ODI

England won earlier the three-match T20I series by 3-0. England chased in all the matches and won by 5 wickets, 4 wickets and 9 wickets.

Dawid Malan of England scored 173 runs averaging 86.5 in 3 innings. Apart from him and South African duo of Rassie Van Der Dussen and Faf Du Plessis, none scored more than 100 runs.

Dawid Malan
Dawid Malan. Image Credit: Twitter.

Tabraiz Shamsi, the left arm china-man spinner was highest wicket-taker besides pacer Lungi Ngidi both of whom took 4 wickets averaging less than 27.

South Africa And England Will Contest In Back-To-Back ODIs

Two South African players who weren’t named earlier tested positive for the dreaded virus on November 19 and 21 respectively. The 2nd ODI will be held on 7th on Monday, and the 3rd slated on 9th will happen on the same day.

The two teams will now play back-to-back ODIs on December 6 and 7. Acting CEO of CSA, Kugandrie Govender as well as CEO of ECB, Tom Harrison agreed to postpone the first fixture to Sunday.

Ben Stokes (r) and Jofra Archer.
Ben Stokes (r) and Jofra Archer. Credit: Getty Images

The 1st ODI now will be at Paarl and 2nd, and 3rd ODI will be at Cape Town. England had sent Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Dawid Malan, Sam Curran and Chris Jordan back home while Joe Root and Chris Woakes have been included. Injured pacer of the African team Kagiso Rabada will miss ODI series against England.