Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

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Ali's Choice
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Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

Post by Ali's Choice »

Sensible move by CA to avoid the virus and keep players and staff safe? Or were the Aussies scared of losing back-to-back test series, and possibly keen for some payback on behalf of their Rugby mates after the SARU pulled out of this year's Rugby Championship?

Test tour of South Africa postponed due to ‘unacceptable’ health risk
Updated February 2, 2021 — 9.47pmfirst published at 9.13pm

The Test tour of South Africa has been postponed in a huge blow to Australia’s hopes of achieving the long-held aim of winning the World Test Championship.

After months of discussions over biosecurity protocols, CA on Tuesday night pulled the pin on the three-Test series, just three weeks before the squad’s departure date, due to what the governing body described as an “unacceptable” health and safety risk caused by the pandemic.

Australia’s bid to make the WTC final in London is now all but shot, having lost to an undermanned India this summer.

In a cruel twist for Paine, who has made no secret of his ambition to claim the world title, Australia could still have qualified for the decider ahead of New Zealand had they not been docked four points by match referee David Boon for a slow over rate during the Boxing Day Test. They now need an unlikely set of results to fall their way when India host England in a four-Test series.

It is unclear when the South Africa series will be able to be held due to the number of fixtures now backlogged on the international calendar as a result of the global health crisis.

It had been reported the series could be moved to Western Australia if South Africa was not deemed safe but the WACA had not been contacted as of Tuesday afternoon regarding a back-up option.

The decision means Australia’s Test side will not be seen on the field until the start of next summer’s Ashes series.

South Africa is struggling to contain a second wave of the coronavirus, with a more contagious mutant strain circulating in the community.

“Due to the public health situation in South Africa, which includes a second wave and new variant of the virus, and following extensive due diligence with medical experts, it has become clear that travelling from Australia to South Africa at this current time poses an unacceptable level of health and safety risk to our players, support staff and the community,” CA’s interim CEO Nick Hockley said.

“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.

‘Despite best efforts to agree a biosecurity plan, the risks are simply too great at this time.’

Cricket Australia
“This decision has not been made lightly and we are extremely disappointed, especially given the importance of continuing international cricket at this time, our valued relationship with CSA, and our aspirations to compete in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship.

“However, we have been consistent since the start of the pandemic that the health and safety of our people is always our number one priority and unfortunately, despite best efforts to agree a biosecurity plan, the risks are simply too great at this time.

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

“We look forward to playing the series against CSA at a date to be confirmed in due course and we send CSA and the people of South Africa our very best wishes for a successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and a return to normality soon.”

The Australian Cricketers Association welcomed CA’s move, saying it was the right call given the situation in South Africa.

“While disappointing for both playing groups and cricket lovers all over the world, this is a prudent decision considering the prevalence and virulence of the COVID-19 strain in South Africa,” interim chief Joe Connellan said.

“The Australian players were ready for the contest with South Africa, especially to support South African cricket at this time with the added challenge of making the final of the ICC Test Championship.

“But this is the right call given the COVID data coming out of South Africa. It’s a decision based on the advice of the medical and health experts and that’s why the ACA supports it.

“The ACA offers its assistance to CA in exploring new options with Cricket South Africa for this series to be rescheduled.”

Australia last year completed one-day international and Twenty20 series in England without any dramas. The England and Wales Cricket Board, however, had proven its ability to conduct a safe tour after hosting the West Indies in biosecure hubs.

Though Manchester was in lockdown when the Australians visited, there was no mutant strain in the community and the tourists had fewer logistical issues by staying at a hotel at the ground.

England’s tour of South Africa last year ended in acrimony after the visitors returned two positives tests but subsequent independent analysis found them to be false positives.

CA, having staged a series against India worth $300 million, had wanted to tour as it recognises the need for national boards to support each other in order to keep the international game afloat.
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

Post by grievous »

Yep RA and CA have been gleefully planning this pull out for months. Im sure players' health and welfare didn't even get discussed.
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

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Sad news, and kind of a reminder that life won't be back to normal until we eliminate covid globally.
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

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grievous wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:14 pm Yep RA and CA have been gleefully planning this pull out for months. Im sure players' health and welfare didn't even get discussed.
I don't blame CA. I thought South Africa was an unacceptable safety risk before COViD-19.
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

Post by grievous »

Ali's Choice wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:17 pm
grievous wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:14 pm Yep RA and CA have been gleefully planning this pull out for months. Im sure players' health and welfare didn't even get discussed.
I don't blame CA. I thought South Africa was an unacceptable safety risk before COViD-19.
Well you are the SA social commentary expert in here.
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

Post by JamesJames »

grievous wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:26 pm
Ali's Choice wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:17 pm
grievous wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:14 pm Yep RA and CA have been gleefully planning this pull out for months. Im sure players' health and welfare didn't even get discussed.
I don't blame CA. I thought South Africa was an unacceptable safety risk before COViD-19.
Well you are the SA social commentary expert in here.
Wise move. Things are completely f**ked here. Also gives us time to rebuild our batting order. Aus would have pumped us.
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

Post by Whatever »

Ali's Choice wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:17 pm
grievous wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:14 pm Yep RA and CA have been gleefully planning this pull out for months. Im sure players' health and welfare didn't even get discussed.
I don't blame CA. I thought South Africa was an unacceptable safety risk before COViD-19.
:lol:

So what will this mean for the World Test Championship? Australia are currently 3rd behind India and NZ. Will Australia stay at 332 points (69.2%), and it will all rest on the India v England. In which case it will be very unlikely Australia makes the final, but quite probable NZ will?
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

Post by Salient »

grievous wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:14 pm Yep RA and CA have been gleefully planning this pull out for months. Im sure players' health and welfare didn't even get discussed.
whoosh
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

Post by JPNZ »

Whatever wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:28 pm
So what will this mean for the World Test Championship? Australia are currently 3rd behind India and NZ. Will Australia stay at 332 points (69.2%), and it will all rest on the India v England. In which case it will be very unlikely Australia makes the final, but quite probable NZ will?
NZ are 99.5% into the final now.
What do India need to do to qualify?

Both India and England will target Australia's points percentage - whichever teams tops 69.17 will qualify.

India need 70 points from the four-Test series to go past Australia. That means they need to win by at least a 2-1 margin - that will fetch them 30 points for each of the two wins, and 10 points for one draw; 3-0 or 3-1 or 4-0, of course, work even better.

And England, don't they have a shot too?

England need 87 points from these four Tests to go past Australia. That means they need to win at least three matches. History is against them there, though - the last time a touring team won three Tests in a series in India was West Indies, in 1983-84.
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

Post by Ali's Choice »

Whatever wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:28 pm
Ali's Choice wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:17 pm
grievous wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:14 pm Yep RA and CA have been gleefully planning this pull out for months. Im sure players' health and welfare didn't even get discussed.
I don't blame CA. I thought South Africa was an unacceptable safety risk before COViD-19.
:lol:

So what will this mean for the World Test Championship? Australia are currently 3rd behind India and NZ. Will Australia stay at 332 points (69.2%), and it will all rest on the India v England. In which case it will be very unlikely Australia makes the final, but quite probable NZ will?
Did you read the article in the OP. It's pretty much over for Australia in terms of the World Test Championship. India vs NZ is likely, which will be a good contest at Lords.
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

Post by Whatever »

JPNZ wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 9:05 pm
Whatever wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:28 pm
So what will this mean for the World Test Championship? Australia are currently 3rd behind India and NZ. Will Australia stay at 332 points (69.2%), and it will all rest on the India v England. In which case it will be very unlikely Australia makes the final, but quite probable NZ will?
NZ are 99.5% into the final now.
What do India need to do to qualify?

Both India and England will target Australia's points percentage - whichever teams tops 69.17 will qualify.

India need 70 points from the four-Test series to go past Australia. That means they need to win by at least a 2-1 margin - that will fetch them 30 points for each of the two wins, and 10 points for one draw; 3-0 or 3-1 or 4-0, of course, work even better.

And England, don't they have a shot too?

England need 87 points from these four Tests to go past Australia. That means they need to win at least three matches. History is against them there, though - the last time a touring team won three Tests in a series in India was West Indies, in 1983-84.
Woohoo.

Not sure who to hope for between India, Aust and England. It's at Lords (right?) so maybe not England (unlikely anyhow, but they are strong), but it would also be as good as a home game for India too. Tough one.

And no, I didn't read the full article, pressed for time. :?
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

Post by Clogs »

I need to go dig out that old rugby thread where SA pulled out and use some of the material from there.
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

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You’ll probably manage 500 hours out of it.
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

Post by grievous »

Maybe CSA need a Karen calm down talk with SARU about dropping out of tournaments last minute.
We had really gone the extra mile’: South Africa furious after Test tour postponed

By Andrew Wu and Jon Pierik


Australia’s Test tour of South Africa has been postponed in a move that has left the side’s long-held aim of winning the World Test Championship in tatters and angered their counterparts on the other side of the Indian Ocean.

After months of discussions over bio-security protocols, CA on Tuesday night pulled the pin on the three-Test series. The call comes just three weeks before the squad’s departure date, due to what the governing body described as an “unacceptable” health and safety risk caused by the pandemic.


However, Cricket South Africa is furious with with CA’s decision to quit the tour, which has serious financial ramifications for the organisation, after saying it had met Jolimont’s constantly changing demands.

These included agreeing to give Australia exclusive access to the luxury Irene Country Lodge resort, where Sri Lanka and South Africa had stayed in December/January, commitment to an expensive Australian contract tracing system and VIP access through the airport organised through the South African government.

Weeks of frustration boiled over in a tersely-worded statement overnight.

“We are extremely disappointed by the decision of CA,” Graeme Smith, CSA’s director of cricket, said.

“CSA has been working tirelessly in recent weeks to ensure that we meet every single expectation of CA. This was set to be our longest tour in a bio-secure environment [BSE] comprising a three-match Test series that was scheduled to begin with Australia’s arrival later in the month. So to be informed about the CA decision at the eleventh hour is frustrating.”

Dr Shuaib Manjra, CSA’s chief medical officer, said CSA had proposed “unprecedented” protocols.

“Firstly, we had agreed that our own Proteas team would enter the BSE 14 days prior to the arrival of the Australian team, thus altering their planning during the current tour of Pakistan,” he said.

“Amongst some of the other key arrangements made were that all four areas (two hotels and two venues) had a protocol to implement a strict BSE (bio-secure environment) with no contact with anybody outside this area.

“We subsequently agreed to two separate BSEs and had granted Australia full and exclusive use of the Irene Country Lodge, which we shared with Sri Lanka, with a minimum staff present on site.

“In terms of the arrangements, the Proteas were to move to a separate hotel altogether. Furthermore, all hotel staff, match officials and even bus drivers were to enter the BSE 14 days prior to Australia’s arrival.

“In addition, CSA had also committed to importing an Australian tracking system at great cost to ensure proper tracking of close contacts in the event of a positive test.The touring team was also going to be granted VIP access through the airports, after government intervention to ensure this privilege.

“These are just some of the protocols that CSA was to put in place. We had really gone the extra mile to make sure that the tour would proceed.”

Australia’s bid to make the WTC final in London is now all but shot, having lost to an undermanned India this summer.

In a cruel twist for Tim Paine, who has made no secret of his ambition to claim the world title, Australia could still have qualified for the decider ahead of New Zealand had they not been docked four points by match referee David Boon for a slow over rate during the Boxing Day Test. They now need an unlikely set of results to fall their way when India host England in a four-Test series.

It is unclear when the South Africa series will be able to be held due to the number of fixtures now backlogged on the international calendar as a result of the global health crisis.

It had been reported the series could be moved to Western Australia if South Africa was not deemed safe but the WACA had not been contacted as of Tuesday afternoon regarding a back-up option.

The decision means Australia’s Test side will not be seen on the field until the start of next summer’s Ashes series.

South Africa is struggling to contain a second wave of the coronavirus, with a more contagious mutant strain circulating in the community.

“Due to the public health situation in South Africa, which includes a second wave and new variant of the virus, and following extensive due diligence with medical experts, it has become clear that travelling from Australia to South Africa at this current time poses an unacceptable level of health and safety risk to our players, support staff and the community,” CA’s interim CEO Nick Hockley said.

“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.

‘Despite best efforts to agree a bio-security plan, the risks are simply too great at this time.’

Cricket Australia
“This decision has not been made lightly and we are extremely disappointed, especially given the importance of continuing international cricket at this time, our valued relationship with CSA, and our aspirations to compete in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship.

“However, we have been consistent since the start of the pandemic that the health and safety of our people is always our number one priority and unfortunately, despite best efforts to agree [on] a bio-security plan, the risks are simply too great at this time.

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

“We look forward to playing the series against CSA at a date to be confirmed in due course and we send CSA and the people of South Africa our very best wishes for a successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and a return to normality soon.”

The Australian Cricketers Association welcomed CA’s move, saying it was the right call given the situation in South Africa.

“While disappointing for both playing groups and cricket lovers all over the world, this is a prudent decision considering the prevalence and virulence of the COVID-19 strain in South Africa,” interim chief Joe Connellan said.

“The ACA offers its assistance to CA in exploring new options with Cricket South Africa for this series to be rescheduled.”

Australia last year completed one-day international and Twenty20 series in England without any dramas. The England and Wales Cricket Board, however, had proven its ability to conduct a safe tour after hosting the West Indies in biosecure hubs.

Though Manchester was in lockdown when the Australians visited, there was no mutant strain in the community and the tourists had fewer logistical issues by staying at a hotel at the ground.

England’s tour of South Africa last year ended in acrimony after the visitors returned two positives tests but subsequent independent analysis found them to be false positives.

CA, having staged a series against India worth $300 million, had wanted to tour as it recognises the need for national boards to support each other in order to keep the international game afloat.
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

Post by Clogs »

guy smiley wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:52 pm You’ll probably manage 500 hours out of it.
500 hours of schadenfreude.
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

Post by guy smiley »

Clogs wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:32 pm
guy smiley wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:52 pm You’ll probably manage 500 hours out of it.
500 hours of schadenfreude.
Let’s call a hypothetical here.

Imagine you wanted to score internet points in a discussion over two cancelled tours involving your home country and your adopted country...

following me here?

Imagine you decide to troll your adopted country’s supporters because their team decided to pull out of a tour at the last minute, just as your home country pulled out of a tournament at the last minute half a year ago...

Still with me here, right?


And all this is because your home country is being ravaged by a pandemic they are poorly equipped to deal with so the disaster is off the charts when it comes to human misery, right?

And your premise is that you’ll enjoy the schadenfreude...

that’s just crazy talk, yeah?
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

Post by Clogs »

guy smiley wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:42 pm
Clogs wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:32 pm
guy smiley wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:52 pm You’ll probably manage 500 hours out of it.
500 hours of schadenfreude.
Let’s call a hypothetical here.

Imagine you wanted to score internet points in a discussion over two cancelled tours involving your home country and your adopted country...

following me here?

Imagine you decide to troll your adopted country’s supporters because their team decided to pull out of a tour at the last minute, just as your home country pulled out of a tournament at the last minute half a year ago...

Still with me here, right?


And all this is because your home country is being ravaged by a pandemic they are poorly equipped to deal with so the disaster is off the charts when it comes to human misery, right?

And your premise is that you’ll enjoy the schadenfreude...

that’s just crazy talk, yeah?
Now just for a moment consider that my comments are firmly tongue in cheek and that I have not done any of that. Then what?
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

Post by Clogs »

guy smiley wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:42 pm
Clogs wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:32 pm
guy smiley wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:52 pm You’ll probably manage 500 hours out of it.
500 hours of schadenfreude.
Let’s call a hypothetical here.

Imagine you wanted to score internet points in a discussion over two cancelled tours involving your home country and your adopted country...

following me here?

Imagine you decide to troll your adopted country’s supporters because their team decided to pull out of a tour at the last minute, just as your home country pulled out of a tournament at the last minute half a year ago...

Still with me here, right?


And all this is because your home country is being ravaged by a pandemic they are poorly equipped to deal with so the disaster is off the charts when it comes to human misery, right?

And your premise is that you’ll enjoy the schadenfreude...

that’s just crazy talk, yeah?
Also this post is a remarkable piece of lack of self awareness.
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

Post by mabunch78 »

not_english wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:16 pm Sad news, and kind of a reminder that life won't be back to normal until we eliminate covid globally.
Never gonna happen. FACT!
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

Post by handyman »

Fok, it is what it is. CSA desperately need the money, but health and safety is more important. Let's hope we can re-schedule.

Also, we need time to get some batting practice.
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

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PertH was offered by CA as an alternative venue.....but refused by SA
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

Post by Wignu »

grievous wrote: Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:48 am PertH was offered by CA as an alternative venue.....but refused by SA
Had they not played 400 hours of cricket??
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

Post by Enzedder »

Now just for a moment consider that my comments are firmly tongue in cheek and that I have not done any of that. Then what?
This is PR - full steam ahead and damn the lifeboats (and the torpedoes)
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

Post by jambanja »

grievous wrote: Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:48 am PertH was offered by CA as an alternative venue.....but refused by SA
When was this option offered ?
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

Post by AnkleTap »

guy smiley wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:42 pm
Clogs wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:32 pm
guy smiley wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:52 pm You’ll probably manage 500 hours out of it.
500 hours of schadenfreude.
Let’s call a hypothetical here.

Imagine you wanted to score internet points in a discussion over two cancelled tours involving your home country and your adopted country...

following me here?

Imagine you decide to troll your adopted country’s supporters because their team decided to pull out of a tour at the last minute, just as your home country pulled out of a tournament at the last minute half a year ago...

Still with me here, right?


And all this is because your home country is being ravaged by a pandemic they are poorly equipped to deal with so the disaster is off the charts when it comes to human misery, right?

And your premise is that you’ll enjoy the schadenfreude...

that’s just crazy talk, yeah?
No matter how strait the gate, or how charge with punishments the scroll.
Clogs will be here.
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Re: Cricket Australia cancels tour of South Africa

Post by Ted. »

grievous wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:56 pm Maybe CSA need a Karen calm down talk with SARU about dropping out of tournaments last minute.
[We had really gone the extra mile’: South Africa furious after Test tour postponed
Spoiler: show
By Andrew Wu and Jon Pierik


Australia’s Test tour of South Africa has been postponed in a move that has left the side’s long-held aim of winning the World Test Championship in tatters and angered their counterparts on the other side of the Indian Ocean.

After months of discussions over bio-security protocols, CA on Tuesday night pulled the pin on the three-Test series. The call comes just three weeks before the squad’s departure date, due to what the governing body described as an “unacceptable” health and safety risk caused by the pandemic.


However, Cricket South Africa is furious with with CA’s decision to quit the tour, which has serious financial ramifications for the organisation, after saying it had met Jolimont’s constantly changing demands.

These included agreeing to give Australia exclusive access to the luxury Irene Country Lodge resort, where Sri Lanka and South Africa had stayed in December/January, commitment to an expensive Australian contract tracing system and VIP access through the airport organised through the South African government.

Weeks of frustration boiled over in a tersely-worded statement overnight.

“We are extremely disappointed by the decision of CA,” Graeme Smith, CSA’s director of cricket, said.

“CSA has been working tirelessly in recent weeks to ensure that we meet every single expectation of CA. This was set to be our longest tour in a bio-secure environment [BSE] comprising a three-match Test series that was scheduled to begin with Australia’s arrival later in the month. So to be informed about the CA decision at the eleventh hour is frustrating.”

Dr Shuaib Manjra, CSA’s chief medical officer, said CSA had proposed “unprecedented” protocols.

“Firstly, we had agreed that our own Proteas team would enter the BSE 14 days prior to the arrival of the Australian team, thus altering their planning during the current tour of Pakistan,” he said.

“Amongst some of the other key arrangements made were that all four areas (two hotels and two venues) had a protocol to implement a strict BSE (bio-secure environment) with no contact with anybody outside this area.

“We subsequently agreed to two separate BSEs and had granted Australia full and exclusive use of the Irene Country Lodge, which we shared with Sri Lanka, with a minimum staff present on site.

“In terms of the arrangements, the Proteas were to move to a separate hotel altogether. Furthermore, all hotel staff, match officials and even bus drivers were to enter the BSE 14 days prior to Australia’s arrival.

“In addition, CSA had also committed to importing an Australian tracking system at great cost to ensure proper tracking of close contacts in the event of a positive test.The touring team was also going to be granted VIP access through the airports, after government intervention to ensure this privilege.

“These are just some of the protocols that CSA was to put in place. We had really gone the extra mile to make sure that the tour would proceed.”

Australia’s bid to make the WTC final in London is now all but shot, having lost to an undermanned India this summer.

In a cruel twist for Tim Paine, who has made no secret of his ambition to claim the world title, Australia could still have qualified for the decider ahead of New Zealand had they not been docked four points by match referee David Boon for a slow over rate during the Boxing Day Test. They now need an unlikely set of results to fall their way when India host England in a four-Test series.

It is unclear when the South Africa series will be able to be held due to the number of fixtures now backlogged on the international calendar as a result of the global health crisis.

It had been reported the series could be moved to Western Australia if South Africa was not deemed safe but the WACA had not been contacted as of Tuesday afternoon regarding a back-up option.

The decision means Australia’s Test side will not be seen on the field until the start of next summer’s Ashes series.

South Africa is struggling to contain a second wave of the coronavirus, with a more contagious mutant strain circulating in the community.

“Due to the public health situation in South Africa, which includes a second wave and new variant of the virus, and following extensive due diligence with medical experts, it has become clear that travelling from Australia to South Africa at this current time poses an unacceptable level of health and safety risk to our players, support staff and the community,” CA’s interim CEO Nick Hockley said.

“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.

‘Despite best efforts to agree a bio-security plan, the risks are simply too great at this time.’

Cricket Australia
“This decision has not been made lightly and we are extremely disappointed, especially given the importance of continuing international cricket at this time, our valued relationship with CSA, and our aspirations to compete in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship.

“However, we have been consistent since the start of the pandemic that the health and safety of our people is always our number one priority and unfortunately, despite best efforts to agree [on] a bio-security plan, the risks are simply too great at this time.

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

“We look forward to playing the series against CSA at a date to be confirmed in due course and we send CSA and the people of South Africa our very best wishes for a successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and a return to normality soon.”

The Australian Cricketers Association welcomed CA’s move, saying it was the right call given the situation in South Africa.

“While disappointing for both playing groups and cricket lovers all over the world, this is a prudent decision considering the prevalence and virulence of the COVID-19 strain in South Africa,” interim chief Joe Connellan said.

“The ACA offers its assistance to CA in exploring new options with Cricket South Africa for this series to be rescheduled.”

Australia last year completed one-day international and Twenty20 series in England without any dramas. The England and Wales Cricket Board, however, had proven its ability to conduct a safe tour after hosting the West Indies in biosecure hubs.

Though Manchester was in lockdown when the Australians visited, there was no mutant strain in the community and the tourists had fewer logistical issues by staying at a hotel at the ground.

England’s tour of South Africa last year ended in acrimony after the visitors returned two positives tests but subsequent independent analysis found them to be false positives.

CA, having staged a series against India worth $300 million, had wanted to tour as it recognises the need for national boards to support each other in order to keep the international game afloat.
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