England’s Tour of South Africa Called Off Due to COVID-19 Cases

The tour has been postponed and not called off completely as the series is part of the ICC Super League

2 min read
Quinton de Kock and Eoin Morgan at the toss. 

England's tour of South Africa has been called off due to medical reasons after the outbreak of COVID-19 among both teams' camps and the staff at their hotel. The tour has been postponed and not called off completely as the series is part of the ICC Super League which serves as the qualification process for the 2023 World Cup and both boards intend to play the series later.

The decision was made after there were three postponements in four days for the opening ODI of the series, which had originally been scheduled to take place at Newlands on Friday, before two failed attempts to stage it at Paarl on Sunday, and at Newlands again on Monday.

Cricket South Africa had hoped to be able to host back-to-back ODIs on Tuesday and Wednesday, however, according to a ESPNCricinfo report the decision to cancel the rest of the tour had to be taken after pressure from the England Cricket Board. The English touring party are expected to fly back on Thursday and are still awaiting on the details of the unconfirmed positive tests within the camp.

In a joint statement, the chief executives of both boards cited player welfare as a primary concern in the decision to abandon the tour, with players understood to be uneasy about recent developments and the fact that the bio-secure bubble had been breached.

"The decision was taken jointly by the two boards to ensure the mental and physical health and welfare of players from both teams," the statement said. "CSA and the ECB will now work together to determine when the three-match series, which forms part of the ICC Cricket Men's Super League, can take place in the future."

Kugandrie Govender, CSA's acting CEO, said: "The concern over the mental health impact of recent events on all involved is not one that we as CSA or the ECB take lightly and the decision to postpone the tour is the most responsible and reasonable course of action for us.

"I would like to thank the ECB for the continued positive relations and we look forward to hosting the England team in the near future."

Tom Harrison, the ECB's chief executive, said: "We have always maintained that the welfare of our players and management is paramount. We were concerned about the potential impact that recent developments might have on the wellbeing of the touring party, and so after consultation with Cricket South Africa we have jointly made the decision to postpone the remaining matches in this series, in (the) best interest of the players' welfare.

"I would like to thank Cricket South Africa for their support and understanding on this matter and look forward to working with them to identify a time when we can return to play these fixtures in the future."

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