England’s tour of South Africa postponed amid rising COVID-19 scare

Tags: England tour of South Africa, 2020, England, South Africa

Published on: Dec 08, 2020

The ODI series between South Africa and England in South Africa has been officially postponed, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed in a release on Monday.

The first one-dayer of the series was scheduled to be played for Friday, December 4. However, the match was postponed to Sunday after reports that one South African player had tested positive for COVID-19. The match eventually had to be abandoned though.

Two more ODIs were to be held on December 7 and 9. But now, the entire tour itself has been postponed.

"Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have agreed to postpone the remaining matches in the current men's ODI Series. The decision was taken jointly by the two Boards to ensure the mental and physical health and welfare of players from both teams," the ECB release said.

"The CSA and ECB will now work together to determine when the three-match Series, which forms part of the ICC Cricket Men's Super League, can take place in the future," the release further added.

The first ODI had to be called off after some of the hotel staff where England were based tested positive. Further, CSA said that two members of the England squad also had ‘unconfirmed positive results’ after their tests.

The lead up to the T20I series was also mired in controversy as two South African players tested positive ahead of the three-match T20I series that kicked off on November 27. The T20I series though went ahead with England blanking South Africa 3-0.

"The concern over the mental health impact of recent events on all involved is not one that we as CSA or the ECB take lightly, and the decision to postpone the tour is the most responsible and reasonable course of action for us," Cricket South Africa (CSA) acting CEO Kugandrie Govender explained while announcing the decision.

ECB chief Tom Harrison said, "We have always maintained that the welfare of our players and management is paramount.

"We were concerned about the potential impact that recent developments might have on the well-being of the touring party, and so after consultation with Cricket South Africa, we have jointly made the decision to postpone the remaining matches in this Series, in the best interest of the players' welfare."

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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