Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) chairperson opened up about his expectations from India’s tour of the Portea land that kicks off later this month. Lawson Naidoo said that the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) decision to travel and play amid the Omicron scare shows how good the friendship is between both countries. He added that everything will be taken care of and the new COVID-19 variant will not be of any hindrance. 

CSA will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of cricketing ties between India and South Africa.

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“As you said, this series will mark the 30th anniversary of cricketing relations between India and South Africa. When South Africa was readmitted to the ICC in 1991 the first tour that we went on was to India in 1991 and India then toured the following year for four Tests and seven ODIs in 1992-93. We are excited about the series, the T2OIs will be played later but we are confident that the upcoming series will be closely contested,” Naidoo told ANI.

He further assured that the South African board is well-equipped and prepared to protect the players of both the teams. The series will be contested in a bio-secure environment. 

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“We as CSA are fully equipped to ensure that the series goes ahead and we will ensure the protection of players from both India and South Africa. The series will be contested in a bio-secure environment. India will be travelling to South Africa via a charter flight. The hotel staff of the Indian team will be regularly tested for the virus, the hotel staff will be staying in the hotel only for the duration of the Indian team’s stay in South Africa. Once the Test series concludes, both India and South Africa squads will travel to Paarl through a chartered flight,” he added.

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The tour dates were postponed. India and South Africa will play three Tests and three ODIs, while the four-match T20I series will be rescheduled for a more opportune time in the new year.

 “We were in constant touch with the BCCI. We would like to thank them for going on with the tour. We were also in touch with our own epidemiologist about the spread of COVID-19 and further measures that we need to take to ensure that the series goes ahead. We relayed the entire information to the BCCI and they were satisfied that the series could go ahead. Tests and ODIs will be played first, and T20Is will be played at a later stage,” Naidoo said. 

“Globally, we have grown accustomed to this. Teams have been playing cricket in bio-bubbles for more than a year now. Earlier this year, India was in the UK when there were elevated levels of transmission of the virus and the tour went ahead. Right now, Ashes is going on in Australia, we have seen how certain teams have different standards when it comes to touring countries, but we appreciate how BCCI did not fall into that trap and we really appreciate India touring South Africa and it shows how good the friendship is between both countries,” he added.