Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa will have a follow-up meeting with Cricket SA on Tuesday. Photo: ʋopano Tlape, GCIS.
Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa will have a follow-up meeting with Cricket SA on Tuesday. Photo: ʋopano Tlape, GCIS.

Cricket SA holding thumbs for Tuesday confirmation of England tour

By Stuart Hess Time of article published Oct 12, 2020

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CAPE TOWN – Cricket South Africa will hopefully receive confirmation on Tuesday that the limited overs tour by England can go ahead next month.

The federation has put all the plans in place to host the 50-over world champions in a bio-secure environment in Cape Town, but despite having made clear its plans to the Ministry of Sport weeks ago, it has yet to receive permission that the tour can go ahead.

At the weekend, however, the department of sports, arts and culture provided direction on gatherings for sports and arts events, that seemingly allow for matches to resume albeit with no crowds able to attend. That, in combination with the measures CSA has laid out to host Eoin Morgan’s team, would seem sufficient for that tour to go ahead.

However, further down the department’s list of directions the following is stipulated: “International sporting, arts and cultural events involving countries with high Covid-19 infection rates are not allowed.”

According to the current list of countries published on the website of the Department of Home Affairs, the United Kingdom is regarded as a high risk country. However, the Home Affairs department does state that, “any person from a country listed as having a high Covid-19 infection and transmission rate, who wish to undertake a business travel into South Africa, may, in writing, apply to the Minister of Home Affairs and demonstrate reasons”, why they wish to enter the country.

The England cricket team would seemingly be covered by that stipulation. The plans for the tour, which will consist of the three T20 and three One-Day Internationals, include the South African and England squads being housed together in The Vineyard Hotel in Cape Town, with the matches taking place at Newlands and Boland Park in Paarl.

The tour, understood to be worth around R70 million, is crucial to CSA’s beleaguered coffers.

Tuesday is shaping up to be a critical day for the troubled organisation. In the morning it will have a follow up meeting with the parliamentary portfolio committee for sport after CSA finally handed the committee the full Fundudzi forensic report last Friday.

Following that, CSA will have another meeting with Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa, which is where it hopes to get greater clarity around the England tour, while no doubt more discussions will take place about the forensic report.

There has been concern expressed privately within CSA that Mthethwa is using the England tour as a tool to push CSA to implement the recommendations of the Nicholson Commission and handle the findings of the forensic report in a more timely manner.

*On Monday it was announced that former Cricket SA and International Cricket Council chief executive, Haroon Lorgat was appointed as the director for strategy and development of the T10 league in Abu Dhabi. “I witnessed T10 cricket for the first time last year and was amazed by its appeal and potential for advancement,” said Lorgat.

@shockerhess

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