Non-contact sport allowed behind closed doors under Level 3 regulations
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All non-contact sport will be allowed behind closed doors under the government’s Level 3 lockdown legislation, opening the door for Cricket South Africa to host the crucial T20 series with India in August and possibly the series with the West Indies, which is scheduled to happen before then.
The stipulations outlined by Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Thursday stated “a professional non-contact sports match, which may only include players match officials, journalists and medical and television crew,” will be allowed with Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa due to provide directions on how that will occur.
Sports such as cricket, golf, tennis and athletics will thus be allowed under Level 3 conditions.
Cricket SA said last week it would be able to host matches in what its chief medical officer Dr. Shuaib Manjra described as a ‘bio bubble.’ That is essentially a large environment, containing a hotel within walking distance of a ground where matches will be played and the players can train. “It would be a sanitised cricket biosphere, with strict entry standards, testing would be conducted before anyone enters in the bubble and there would be limited movement in and out of it,” Manjra said recently. “It requires regular testing and we will create a cordoned sanitaire, where people wouldn’t be allowed to leave or come in unless strict criteria are met.” While inside the ‘bubble,’ everyone would still maintain the regular social distancing practices.
Majra said Potcheftroom’s Senwes Park, would be an ideal venue for a cricket ‘bio-bubble’, given the location of the North West University Sports Village - which has 80 hotel-style rooms and is within three minutes walk of the ground, the nets and various other fields - football and athletics - where players can train.
Cricket South Africa has said the nationally contracted players would need six weeks to prepare before they are ready to play again.