The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) says it will do all it can to ensure India’s tour of South Africa goes ahead as planned.
The all-format tour, which is scheduled to start with the first Test at the Wanderers on 17 December, has been jeopardised by the identification of a new Covid-19 variant by South African scientists.
After the resultant travel ban – first by the UK, and then the USA and EU countries – the Netherlands left South Africa after playing the first ODI against the Proteas in Centurion on Friday. The two remaining matches of the series have been postponed.
However, Dirco is confident that the India tour will take place.
“South Africa will take all precautions necessary to ensure the health and safety of the Indian teams,” it said in a statement on Tuesday.
“A full bio-secure environment will be established around both the South African and Indian A teams [currently playing in Bloemfontein] as well as the two national teams.
“India’s decision to show solidarity by choosing to continue with the tour of the Indian A team stands in contrast with several countries who have decided to close their borders and to restrict travel from Southern African countries after South Africa announced the detection of the new Omicron variant.
“The South African government has expressed its appreciation to the Board of Control for Cricket in India for allowing the tour to continue and for not letting travel restrictions negatively impact on international sports.”
India tour of South Africa schedule:
1st Test – 17-21 December, Wanderers, Johannesburg
2nd Test – 26-30 December, SuperSport Park, Centurion
3rd Test – 3-7 January, Newlands, Cape Town
1st ODI – 11 January, Boland Park, Paarl
2nd ODI – 14 January, Newlands, Cape Town
3rd ODI – 16 January, Newlands, Cape Town
1st T20 – 19 January, Newlands, Cape Town
2nd T20 – 21 January, Newlands, Cape Town
3rd T20 – 23 January, Boland Park, Paarl
4th T20 – 26 January, Boland Park, Paarl