02 Feb

The proposed three-match Test series between South Africa and Australia, part of the ICC World Test Championship, has been postponed, with Cricket Australia (CA) citing the Covid-19 situation in South Africa as a deterrent. 

In a statement, Nick Hockley, the CA interim CEO, said the three-match tour had been postponed due to the "unacceptable level of health and safety risk" in South Africa, which is battling a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. 

"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 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," he said in a statement on Tuesday, 2 February. 

"We acknowledge the significant amount of work by Cricket South Africa (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. 

"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 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, coach], Tim [Paine, captain] and the team, we have a duty of care to our people and their health and safety can't be compromised." 

John Stephenson 


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