South Africa vs Australia Test series: Australia were scheduled to play a three-match Test series in South Africa next month.
Australia’s tour of South Africa has become the latest cricketing fixture to get affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Australia, who were scheduled to play a three-match Test series in South Africa in March, will now travel at a later date as the tour has been postponed and not canceled.
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.
While no revised date has been announced as of now, it will be interesting to see if Australia host South Africa for three Test matches in Perth as reported earlier in December.
Given how the Test series is vital for Australia’s chances for qualifying for the final match of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship, the possibility of the aforementioned happening can’t be entirely ruled out.
Considering how their Test and T20I squads will have to be at different geographical locations for the Test tour of South Africa and T20I tour of New Zealand, Cricket Australia had announced separate squads for both the tours.
The chances are less but whether Australia will rejig their T20I squad with the availability of more A-list names now remains to be seen. If they don’t, the resumption of the Sheffield Shield season this month is highly likely to be a star-studded event with the presence of their Test specialists.
South Africa vs Australia Test series postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic
In a statement published on cricket.com.au, Cricket Australia’s interim CEO Nick Hockley highlighted an “unaccepted” level of risk regarding the tour of South Africa amidst a global pandemic. It is worth mentioning that South Africa are currently suffering with a new variant of the coronavirus.
“Following extensive due diligence with medical experts, it has become clear that traveling 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,” Hockley said in a statement.
Disappointing but not at all surprising that Australia’s tour of SA has been postponed. If we ever get to a point where vaccines make travel safe and easy again… well… I sure won’t take it for granted.
— Melinda Farrell (@melindafarrell) February 2, 2021
“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.
“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.”