Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Thursday hinted it is prepared and ready to create a bio-secure cricket environment with playing conditions safe enough for the game to restart.
In a virtual media briefing, CEO Dr Jacques Faul, director of cricket Graeme Smith, chief medical officer Dr Shuaib Manjra and South African Cricketers’ Association (Saca) CEO Andrew Breetzke discussed future plans to get cricket up and running again in the near future.
One such an outline was creating a sort of ‘bio-bubble’, which would involve a special venue where teams and players could reside under strict and safe health conditions, while also conducting training programmes and eventually play cricket matches without spectators at a nearby ground.
The idea echoes the environment the English Cricket Board is trying to set up to accommodate the West Indies and Pakistan on their respective tours to England in July and August.
‘It will be a sanitised cricket biosphere with strict entry standards and limited movement out of this cordon, and this will require regular testing of all those in the bubble,’ Dr Manjra said.
‘We will create a “cordon sanitaire” [sanitized area], where people will not be allowed to leave or come in unless strict criteria are met.’
Faul added that CSA and the BCCI have agreed on a three-match T20 series in South Africa in August, should both governments allow it.
If it does go ahead as planned, then the matches will likely be staged within such a bio-bubble, which will also force a before-and-after quarantine period for the India team.
Although nothing has yet been finalised, Faul indicated that CSA has contacted Sascoc to seek permission and guidance from the Minister of Sport, Nathi Mthethwa.
‘We are engaging via Sascoc with the minister. We are in the process of seeking an audience with the minister to get permission if needed to play behind closed doors and this will relate to the possibility of the India tour and other incoming tours. We’re trying to be innovative because it is an important tour to us,’ Faul said.