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Fate of the Netherlands’ cricket tour to SA to be decided in next 48 hours

Timm van der Gugten of the Netherlands celebrates with teammates after picking up the wicket of Janneman Malan of South Africa during the first ODI at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Timm van der Gugten of the Netherlands celebrates with teammates after picking up the wicket of Janneman Malan of South Africa during the first ODI at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Nov 26, 2021

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Johannesburg — The Netherlands cricket team will decide within the next two days whether to continue its tour of South Africa in light of the new, reportedly more, potent strain of the Covid-19 virus that was made public on Thursday.

A number of countries have restricted travel from South Africa on Friday, including the Netherlands. The team started a three match One-Day series against the Proteas in Centurion on Friday. The match was interrupted by rain shortly after the Dutch started their innings in pursuit of a target of 278. The remaining matches in the series are scheduled for Saturday in Centurion, and next Wednesday at the Wanderers.

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In a statement released by Cricket SA on Friday afternoon, it said the Dutch cricket authorities were continuing to monitor the situation. The statement said “it is unlikely the visiting team will be able to fly out of South Africa over the weekend.”

“A decision on the continuation of the series will follow in the next 24 to 48 hours, while all flight options are being considered,” the statement read.

“The (Koninklijke Nederlandse Cricket Bond) is reviewing all of its options, while prioritising the physical and mental well-being of its players.”

Earlier on Friday the Netherlands Embassy in South Africa tweeted that the country had “implemented a travel ban on entry from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana due to the new covid19 strain.”

Passengers on board Dutch airline KLM’s flight, which departed from Cape Town on Thursday evening, were held in the plane for an hour at Schipol airport on Friday morning, before boarding a bus and then having to undergo testing for Covid-19.

Meanwhile the BCCI confirmed that the India A side, which started a three match Four-Day series against South Africa A in Bloemfontein this week would, for now remain in the country to complete the series. The BCCI said it had been in contact with CSA and were happy with the arrangements which had been made.

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According to media reports in India, the BCCI was monitoring the situation in South Africa and would await advice from the Indian government before determining the fate of the Indian men’s team’s tour to South Africa next month. The players are supposed to travel to the country on December 8. The Indians are scheduled to face the Proteas in three Tests, three One-Day and four T20 Internationals.

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Any cancellation of that tour would have a severe effect on Cricket SA’s already beleaguered coffers.

@shockerhess

IOL Sport

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