Steve Smith and Tim Paine. (AFP)
Australia’s Test tour of South Africa has been postponed due to fears over the coronavirus, Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed on Tuesday.
The Baggy Greens were scheduled to play a three-Test series in South Africa later this month but CA’s interim chief executive Nick Hockley said travelling to the country posed “unacceptable” risk to the touring party.
South Africa is battling a second wave of Covid-19.
“Due to the public health situation in South Africa, which includes a second wave and a 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,” Hockley said in a statement.
“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.
“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 to a bio-security plan, the risks are simply to great at this time.”
Hockley said they would be engaging with CSA to play the series at a later stage.
Today we informed Cricket South Africa that we believe we have no choice but to postpone the forthcoming Qantas Tour of South Africa due to the coronavirus pandemic. Full statement ?? pic.twitter.com/mYjqNpkYjp
— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) February 2, 2021- Compiled by Sport24 staff