CSA 'disappointed' by postponement of Australia tour

Tanya Simon
February 2, 2021

Australia had named its squad on Wednesday, but today CA said in a tweet: "Today we informed Cricket South Africa that we believe we have no choice but to postpone the forthcoming Tour of South Africa due to the coronavirus pandemic".

'We acknowledge the significant amount of work by CSA in planning for the tour, during which we made it clear that CA was prepared to take on additional cost and effort to make the series happen.

India, England and Australia are all in the mix for that spot depending on the result of that series.

New Zealand on Tuesday became the first team to reach the final of the inaugural World Test Championship after Australia's away series against South Africa got cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Australia's decision to opt against a tour was confirmed on Tuesday evening, with Interim CA boss Nick Hockley saying that health experts had warned players could be exposed to "unacceptable" health and safety risks.

'As hard and disappointing a decision as this is, especially for Justin [Langer], Tim [Paine] and the team, we have a duty of care to our people and their health and safety can't be compromised.

Some of the country's tougher lockdown restrictions were eased by the government on Monday.

The Black Caps walking out to play Pakistan
The Black Caps walking out to play Pakistan

"CSA is particularly disappointed given that South Africa recently hosted Sri Lanka in a bio-secure environment (BSE) at Centurion, with no breaches of protocol". The country club is considered a "lifestyle" hotel, with access to a dam, driving range and various outdoor activities.

But coach Justin Langer, who was due to go to South Africa with the Test team, could now coach the T20 outfit in NZ.

Speaking to ESPNcricinfo in December, Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings had opened up against compromising on players' safety especially with respect to their health in South Africa. What is largely a second-string team will play a Twenty20 series in Pakistan.

India need to win at least two Tests and not lose the remaining two, England need to win three or more. Their forecast losses for the current four-year cycle hover between Rand 654 million and Rand 1 billion (US$ 43.7 million and US$ 66.9 million).

While Director of Cricket South Africa, Graeme Smith expressing his displeasure at the cancellation of the tour said, "CSA has been working tirelessly in recent weeks to ensure that we meet every single expectation of CA".

Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) chief executive Joe Connellan said while it was a disappointing announcement to have to make, the players association supported the "prudent decision" to call off the tour.

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