Australia looking to reschedule South Africa tour "as soon as possible"

South African cricket team
South African cricket team
Modified 09 Mar 2021

Cricket Australia (CA) chief Nick Hockley has asserted that Australia will try to reschedule its postponed tour of South Africa "as soon as possible", but only if the health situation and cricketing calendar allow.

Australia had earlier pulled out of its three-Test tour of South Africa, scheduled for March-April, on the grounds of "unacceptable levels of health and safety risk to players, support staff and the community".

Speaking to Nine Network-owned newspapers, Hockley said that CA and Cricket South Africa (CSA) will look to figure out a new window for the Test series. He, however, reiterated:

"We would like to reschedule it as soon as possible, providing it is safe to do so, and there is time available in the calendar.”

Hockley added that the pandemic has thrown schedules out of gear, further complicating matters. He explained:

“Now, that’s not a simple task (rescheduling series). Through the pandemic and quarantine periods there is a lot of cricket that has been rescheduled. But we’re right in the middle of constructive discussions and hopefully those discussions will be resolved soon."

Despite the challenges thrown by the pandemic, Australia managed to successfully host India for a full tour, comprising of four Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is between November-January.

CSA wrote to ICC over Australia's decision to postpone tour

Following Australia’s decision to postpone its Test tour of South Africa, Cricket South Africa (CSA) wrote to the International Cricket Council (ICC), terming it "against the spirit of sportsmanship".

According to a report in ESPNCricinfo, the CSA letter claimed that Australia’s decision to pull out raised questions over the credibility of the World Test Championship (WTC).

After the South Africa-Australia series was postponed, New Zealand became the first team to qualify for the World Test Championship (WTC) final. India then beat England at home to join the Kiwis in the summit clash, with Australia missing out.

In the letter, CSA also asked the ICC to look into the financial losses that less wealthy cricket boards have to incur when such planned tours do not take place.

While CSA did not lodge a formal complaint over the issue, it termed the letter as a “means of opening communication about finding the best possible outcome to maintain international cricket schedule during the Covid-19 pandemic".

Reacting to Australia’s decision to pull out of the Test series, former skipper and Cricket South Africa's (CSA) Director of Cricket Graeme Smith expressed his disappointment. He stated that the CSA had been working very hard to try and meet all of CA’s expectations.

Published 09 Mar 2021
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