Last summer, England and Australia controversially withdrew from their tours in South Africa due to their Covid fears and now the current international season could be torn apart, as well as the tour of the Countries- Bas and the vital Indian visit are at stake following reports that scientists have detected a new variant of the coronavirus in Gauteng and neighboring countries.
The British government has triggered the panic by putting South Africa on the red list for overnight travel, with the European Union set to follow suit soon. This despite scientists assuring that the new variant almost certainly does not come from South Africa; they have just been the first to identify it.
More than half a dozen Dutch players are based in the UK, which means they will have problems getting home after their three-game ODI streak against the Proteas ends on Wednesday.
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CSA issued a statement on Friday afternoon, as the Dutch rounds of the first ODI were interrupted by rain at Centurion, saying it was highly unlikely that tourists would be able to leave before the weekend was over.
Given that they would have to quarantine themselves for 10 days in a hotel if they did not get home as soon as possible, it is understandable that the Dutch team would want to leave on Friday. But they will now probably only be able to leave on December 2 (Thursday), due to the lack of available flights in the hysteria. Their federation is believed to be ready to cover the costs of the quarantine.
This means that the third ODI, scheduled for December 1, could still take place and the series can be completed, unless another flight option is discovered by the KNCB.
While CSA and the Proteas will be disappointed not to complete the series, they – and especially their meager coffers – would be devastated if the India tour that was due to begin on December 17 did not take place.
India is expected to fly to South Africa on December 8, but reports from India suggest the BCCI is waiting for its government to make a decision on a trip to South Africa.
India A is currently in Bloemfontein to play the first of a four-day three-game series and ASC sources have said The citizen they expressed no concerns about staying in the country.
Meanwhile, during the Joburg Open golf tournament at Randpark, co-sanctioned with the DP World Tour (formerly known as the European Tour), thunderstorms caused delays on Friday, but 20 European golfers, on the course of 156, withdrew before the second round began, trying to get home before the travel deadline.