Proteas turn attention to Sri Lanka following England disaster

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England's tour of South Africa was officially called off on Monday, 7 December, following the outbreak of Covid-19 among both teams' camps and staff at their hotel.

Three Betway One-Day Internationals (ODIs), which were set to take place at Newlands and Boland Park respectively, were postponed, with the possibility they could take place at a much later date. This after England recorded a 3-0 series whitewash of South Africa in the KFC T20 Internationals played at the very same two venues.

The Three Lions are set to leave the country on a chartered flight on Thursday with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) having since announced that the two suspected cases of Covid-19 within their touring party were false positives.

While finger pointing will continue throughout coming weeks, months and potentially the next year, the biggest loser of it all will be the supporters -- starved of ODI cricket for a while longer -- and Cricket South Africa (CSA) who are set to lose a reported R30.3 million in broadcast revenue.
Boland Park in Paarl
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The decision to postpone the series was taken after the opening ODI match was pushed back three times in four days, having originally been set to take place at Newlands on Friday, 4 December. Attempts were made to stage the match in Paarl on Sunday, and again in Cape Town on Monday.

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.

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“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.”
Imperial Wanderers Stadium
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The three postponed One-Day Internationals (ODIs) could be played any time in the next three years as part of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s Super League.

South Africa will now turn their attention to Sri Lanka who they will host in a two-match Betway Test Series later this month. The Boxing Day Test will take place at SuperSport Park in Centurion from 26-30 December 2020, before the Imperial Wanderers Stadium hosts its first-ever New Year’s Test from 3 - 7 January 2021 in Johannesburg.  

The Proteas are also set to host Australia and Pakistan later this season.

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Published: 12/10/2020