Tuesday, July 16, 2024

South Africa tour on as of now: BCCI treasurer Arun Dhum

South Africa India

NEW DELHI, November 30: BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal on Tuesday said India’s tour of South Africa remains on schedule provided the situation doesn’t aggravate in the rainbow nation after a new COVID-19 variant was detected there.

India play the final Test against New Zealand in Mumbai and are scheduled to depart to Johannesburg from there on December 8 or 9 on a chartered flight.
Dhumal expressed confidence the bio-bubble environment created by South Africa will keep the players safe. The first Test will be played in Johannesburg from December 17.
“We stand with them (as they deal with this threat), the only thing is we won’t compromise on players’ safety. As of now we have a chartered flight going to Johannesburg as scheduled and players will be in a bio bubble,” Dhumal told PTI.
On the possible change of venues within South Africa to deal with the threat, Dhumal said: “We are in constant touch with the Cricket South Africa (CSA) officials.
“Whatever best we can do to not compromise the series we will try and do but if the situation aggravates and if it compromises our players’ safety and health, we will see.
“In the end, whatever is the Government of India advisory, we will abide by that,” Dhumal told PTI.
Countries around the world have already pressed the panic button and imposed travel bans from South Africa but India has not done that. However, South Africa is among the “at risk” countries as per the revised guidelines of the Indian government.
The India A team has stayed back in South Africa to complete the series.
South Africa’s foreign ministry has also assured that a “full bio-secure environment” will be created for the Indian cricket team when it lands here for the highly-anticipated series next month.
On the tour, India play three Tests, three ODIs and four T20Is.
South Africa promises secure bio-bubble for Team India; appreciates BCCI for continuing ‘A’ tour
South Africa’s foreign ministry has said that a “full bio-secure environment” will be created for the Indian cricket team when it lands here for a highly-anticipated series next month and lauded the BCCI for not pulling out its ‘A’ team despite the panic caused by the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant.
India A will start their second unofficial Test against South Africa A in Bloemfontein on Tuesday, staying put in the country despite the global trepidation that has followed the Omicron variant’s discovery.
The Indian senior team will compete in three Tests starting December 17, followed by as many ODIs and four T20 Internationals.
Virat Kohli and his men are scheduled to land here by December 9 but there have been some concerns about the tour due to the Omicron variant’s discovery in the region which has led to travel restrictions by several countries.
“South Africa will take all precautions necessary to ensure the health and safety of the Indian teams. A full Bio-secure environment will be established around both the South African and Indian ‘A’ Teams as well as the two National Teams,” the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), which is the country’s foreign ministry, stated.
“India’s decision to show solidarity by choosing to continue with the tour of the Indian ‘A’ Team stands in contrast with a number of countries who have decided to close their borders and to restrict travel from Southern African…,” it added.
The ministry said that the South African government has expressed its appreciation to the BCCI for allowing the tour to continue and “for not letting travel restrictions negatively impact on international sports.”
The first India-South Africa Test will be played at Johannesburg, followed by the second match at Centurion (December 26) and the third match at Cape Town (January 3).
“The tour of the Indian National Team marks the 30th anniversary of South Africa’s readmission to international cricket.”
In 1991, India had become the first country to host a South African team after the country was banned from international cricket in 1970 by the International Cricket Council (ICC) due to the then South African government’s apartheid policy.

“The anniversary will be celebrated by a commemorative event that will take place on January 2, 2022 in Cape Town. This event will also serve to highlight the strong ties between South Africa and India, which is once again demonstrated by the tour of the two Indian teams,” the ministry statement read. (PTI)