Government gives ’verbal assurances’ that Cricket SA may host England next month
CAPE TOWN - The Proteas’ long wait to get back on the field will finally draw to a close after Cricket SA were given all the assurances from the national government that they may host world champions England next month.
Eoin Morgan’s team will face the Proteas in three ODI’s and three T20’s set to be played at Newlands in Cape Town and Paarl’s Boland Park.
Independent Media understands that despite the United Kingdom remaining on the list of high risk countries related to Covid-19, the latest government gazette communicated that “people from high risk countries who may visit SA fall in the following categories: business travellers, holders of critical skills visas, investors and people of international mission in sports, arts, culture and science.”
Furthermore, it is understood that Cricket SA have been given verbal assurances from Sport Minister Nathi Mthethwa authorising the tour.
This is highly significant after Mthethwa’s ministry only last week issued CSA with a notice of government intervention on October 14 while informing the International Cricket Council of its intentions due to the cricket body’s non-compliance with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc).
With the tour being rescued, CSA can now though finally focus on staging international cricket for the first time since the country went into lockdown in March.
During this period the Proteas’ Men’s team returned home from India prematurely and had an away series against Sri Lanka and West Indies postponed.
Meanwhile, the Proteas Women’s team had a high-profile home series against Australia postponed along with tours to the West Indies and United Kingdom.
England’s arrival in South Africa will not only kick-start the international cricket season here, but also be a major financial boost to Cricket SA. The tour’s value is believed to be in the region of R50 Million in sponsorship and broadcast revenue.
The English Cricket Board, who managed to off-set serious financial losses during their home summer due to the arrival of West Indies, Pakistan, Ireland and Australia during the Covid-19 peak, will assist Cricket SA in helping to cover costs for the tour.
The ECB will cover the chartered return flights to South Africa – which are expected to arrive on November 17 - and also assist with PPE clothing and testing apparatus left over from their home series’, according to media reports in England.
Both teams will stay at Cape Town’s Vineyard Hotel in a “bio-secure” environment. There will be no other guests present in the hotel.
England will still be obliged to quarantine upon arrival, but they will be allowed to train at the Vineyard Oval across the road from the hotel during that period.
South Africa’s captain Quinton de Kock and England skipper Eoin Morgan along with a host of players from both teams are currently playing in the Indian Premier League currently being held in the United Arab Emirates.
The last contests between the two countries, which occurred just prior to the Covid-19 lockdown here in South Africa at the beginning of the year, resulted in Morgan’s England team winning a highly entertaining T20 series 2-1, while the ODI series was shared 1-1.
South Africa’s domestic summer begins in less than a fortnight with the 4-Day Domestic Series on November 2.