Sports around the world have come to a standstill in the wake of the pandemic that is the novel Coronavirus. Most of the high profile tournaments have been postponed. On the cricketing front, almost every series- Road Safety World Series, Australia women tour of South Africa and the ODI rubbers involving Australia-New Zealand and India-South Africa- have been called-off for the unforeseeable future.
The India-South Africa three-match ODI series was initially given a go-ahead by both the BCCI and Cricket South Africa. But with the steadily escalating situation, it was decided that the remaining two games in Lucknow [March 15] and Kolkata [March 18] will be played behind closed doors after the first ODI in Dharamsala was abandoned due to inclement weather.
The BCCI was also contemplating conducting both the games at the same venue behind closed doors with the games being streamed and televised. But with the Indian Premier League (IPL) getting postponed, the apex-body after exchanging emails with their South African counterparts after the latter requested the home board to consider cancelling the entire thing.
CSA expresses its gratitude to the BCCI for cancelling the series
Cricket South Africa’s acting CEO, Dr Jacques Faul and interim Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith ‘expressed gratitude for their understanding and cooperation in arriving at this very responsible decision’, after the series was called-off.
Post the decision, Dr Jacques Faul said that the decision was both necessary as well as a precautionary, considering the gravity of the situation. He further revealed CSA is in constant touch with the medical experts.
“This decision is both necessary and a precaution that had to be taken. We are monitoring the situation and are in constant consultation with medical and virology experts. We will apply our minds to the input of experts and act in a way that reflects our duty of caring for our players,” Dr Faul said in a statement as quoted by the Times of India.
Both BCCI and CSA also revealed that they will work in tandem to work out the rescheduling of the remaining two games of the series as and when the situation returns to normal.
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