Kolkata: The Cricket Board of India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly on Tuesday said that for the time being the South Africa tour will be as per the pre-determined schedule and he is closely monitoring the situation related to the unfolding of the new format of Kovid-19.
There is growing concern about the spread of a new form of Kovid-19 named Omicron. Its first case was reported in South Africa.
Ganguly said on the sidelines of a promotional event here, “The tour will take place according to the situation as of now. We still have time to decide. The first Test will be held from December 17. We will look into it.”
India will play the second and final Test against New Zealand in Mumbai from December 3, after which the team is scheduled to leave for Johannesburg on a chartered flight on December 8 or 9 from there.
Ganguly said, “The health and safety of the players has always been the first priority of the BCCI. We will see what happens in the coming days.”
Former India captain Ganguly has come out in support of in-form all-rounder Hardik Pandya that he will regain his place in the team after regaining full fitness.
He said, “He is a good cricketer. He is not fit, that’s why he is not in the team. He is young, I hope he comes back after recovering from injury.
CSA chief on India’s tour of South Africa: ‘Everything is on track’
Cricket South Africa is in positive talks with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and is confident that the tour of India will go as planned. However, Dr Salim Abdul Karim, one of the country’s top epidemiologists, has expressed the hope that by the end of this week, more than 10,000 cases will start coming daily in the country. The CSA has given satisfaction to the BCCI about the bio bubble environment taking place in Gotang and The Western Cape.
CSA’s acting CEO Folexi Mosecki said, “We are in talks with BCCI and they look forward to being here. Our government wants to help us and we want to reassure our Indian counterparts that everything is on track.” “
The first and second test are to be played in Gotang province and this is where the highest number of cases are being seen and it is expected that in the coming times, it will start appearing in The Western Cape. CSA had successfully hosted Sri Lanka and Pakistan last summer and were also preparing to host Australia. But The Western Cape has not been much successful. In December last year, England had canceled the tour after the Kovid case was detected at its Cape Town hotel. CSA has since tightened the bubble, where players were not allowed to leave the hotel without any reason.
“We had prepared two bio bubbles. We learned a lot from the tour of England. When we were preparing for this tour, we have prepared for Gotang and Cape Town considering the number of matches,” Mosecki said. The plan is to arrange a charter flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town. This was the plan even before the introduction of this new variant.”
As far as things go so far, CSA doesn’t plan to move the tour anywhere or at any other time. Instead, the hope is that the series against India will be held at the right time and the loss due to the absence of England and Australia series will be compensated. “If this tour doesn’t happen, it will put us in a bad position. We will have to stop some programs. We will be in a different position in a year or two,” Mosecki said.