India to play three Tests in SA; T20I series postponed
After the conclusion of the second Test against New Zealand, India are set to embark on the South Africa tour. The Proteas will host Team India for three Tests and as many ODIs. However, the four T20Is that were also part of the original tour will be played later. It is understood that the dates and venues for the tour are set to change.
Why does it matter?
- As per the original schedule, India and South Africa were supposed to play three Tests, three ODIs, and four T20Is.
- However, the tour was in jeopardy with the advent of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 in Africa.
- Earlier this week, the TOI reported that the Test series could be postponed by a week.
- The four T20Is have been removed from the new schedule.
A look at the new schedule
A CSA release revealed the dates and venues for the tour will likely change. The arrival of Team India in SA has been delayed by a week. As per ESPNcricinfo, the first Test will begin on December 26 (Centurion). Johannesburg (January 3-7) and Cape Town (January 11 or 12) will host the following two Tests. The three ODIs will be held in Cape Town.
Here is what CSA said
In the release, CSA assured that the bilateral series will take place with stern COVID-19 guidelines. "With the Proteas men's team having already participated in no less than eight international cricket BSEs, CSA is pleased to announce that this tour will also take place under the strictest COVID-19 guidelines, as contained in the BSE protocols," the CSA release said.
Here are the recent developments
Recently, the three-match ODI series involving the Netherlands and South Africa was cut short following concerns over the Omicron variant of COVID-19. CSA had also postponed three games of Division 2 four-day matches after some players tested positive. However, the BCCI allowed India A to compete in three four-day games in Bloemfontein. The third match is set to begin on Monday.
BCCI likely to honor the agreement
The TOI reported that the BCCI will likely honor the agreement with CSA by arranging for a T20I series, next year. Notably, CSA looks up to the India series to maintain its financial health. As per the report, the BCCI "will take every possible step to safeguard their interests". To recall, India toured Sri Lanka this year despite the spike in COVID-19 cases.