Covid-19 hit South Africa vs England series called off on medical grounds

England's 3-match ODI series against hosts South Africa has been called off after players from both the side contracted coronavirus in the last few days.

advertisement
The ODI series was scheduled to conclude on December 9 (Reuters Image)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • England's 3-match ODI series against South Africa has been postponed
  • The series was set to start on Friday, got delayed thrice in 4 days
  • The decision was jointly taken by CSA and ECB

England's 3-match ODI series versus South Africa has been called off after the two boards reached on a mutual decison on Monday. The three T20Is were played as scheduled, but the three-match ODI series, which was to have started on Friday, was delayed thrice in four days because of positive Covid-19 results in both the squads. In fact, two hotel staff where the teams were staying also tested positive for coronavirus.

Notably, 3-match T20I series was held successfully without any major hiccups. The visiting England side had won it 3-0.

CSA Acting CEO, Kugandrie Govender 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, ECB Chief Executive Officer, added: "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 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."

One South Africa player and 2 hotel staff are confirmed Covid-19 cases from within the bio-secure hotel, while England said on Sunday that they had two "unconfirmed positive results" among their touring party.

The news will come as a massive financial blow to embattled Cricket South Africa (CSA) and also casts doubt on their ability to host future tours, with Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Australia all set to play in the country in the coming months.

The South Africa team and Vineyard Hotel management said they had investigated how the coronavirus may have been contracted within the bio-secure environment without success, though they denied any players or staff had left the venue without authorisation.

Also Read | India A vs Australia A: Umesh Yadav, R Ashwin shine but Cameron Green hundred helps hosts take lead on Day 2

Also Read | India in Australia: Watch - Prithvi Shaw takes a one-handed stunner to remove Tim Paine