Michael Vaughan has slammed South Africa’s bio-bubble security and says there’s ‘no chance’ Australia will honour a tour in February.
The former England skipper, talking on the BBC‘s Test-match special, was brutal in his appraisal of the integrity of the bio-secure environment which the touring England team stayed in.
The tour ended prematurely when England refused to play the second of three ODIs based on multiple coronavirus issues. It was later reported that the England players and management had breached Covid-19 protocols multiple times, particularly to play golf.
The Proteas have a summer schedule that includes matches against Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Australia. Australia are yet to confirm their intention to tour. Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa are reportedly in talks over the tour, with the former floating the idea of the matches being moved to Perth.
That tour is set to start in late February, but Vaughan predicted it would not happen.
‘There is no way Australia is going to South Africa. Absolutely no chance,’ Vaughan said. ‘It’s very hard for people to get into Australia, and they don’t like their own leaving the country. So, they’re not going to South Africa, where there has just been a series cancelled because the bubble wasn’t secure enough.’
Vaughan also highlighted the dire financial impact the potential cancellation of the series would have.
‘For the cricket to go on, the game has to look after smaller countries that don’t have the finances,’ he said. ‘Now South Africa might be $2 million down – it might be more than that – when you start looking at sponsorships.
‘If the Australia series is cancelled again, a chunk of that revenue that they expect to come in, the broadcasters would want that money and rightfully so.’
He intimated that South Africa shouldn’t be allowed to host international teams because of their economic weakness.
‘I have a problem with countries like South Africa who haven’t got the money to put on these bio-secure bubbles, and there will be other series,’ he said.
‘South Africa have failed and that’s something they have to try and get right because there won’t be many countries sticking their hands up to go there.’
Vaughan also had a stinging rebuke for the chaos that has gripped the running of cricket in South Africa. In the latest embarrassment, acting CSA CEO Kugandrie Govender was suspended on Monday and faces three charges of poor governance.
‘We’ve got to be honest, South African cricket is in a shambles,’ Vaughn said. ‘I just don’t see it having any kind of structure in leadership from the CEO. There’s too much swapping and changing … they have to get their house in order.’