BCCI top brass likely to meet on Saturday, discuss roadmap for South Africa tour amid Covid-19 new variant

BCCI top brass likely to meet on Saturday, discuss roadmap for South Africa tour amid Covid-19 new variant

The top bras of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is likely to meet on Saturday to discuss the possibility of going ahead with India’s tour of South Africa amid fears over new SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1529 that has been detected in South Africa, Hong Kong, Israel and Botswana.

India are scheduled to tour South Africa for 3 Tests, as many ODIs and 4 T20Is between December 17 and January 26. The senior national men’s team was set to depart to the Rainbow Nation right after the completion of the ongoing 2-Test series against New Zealand at home.

Notably, an India A team led by Priyank Panchal is playing an unofficial Test series in Bloemfontein. The India A side has already completed a 4-day match and they are scheduled to play two more matches and stay in South Africa until December 9.

The WHO classified the variant as a “highly transmissible virus of concern”, the same category that includes the predominant delta variant of the coronavirus. In a bid to contain this new Covid-19 threat, countries across the world have rushed to impose travel bans, a move South Africa called ‘unjustified’.

Notably, the new Covid-19 variant has threatened the ongoing cricket series between the Netherlands and South Africa in South Africa. With players expressing concerns, a final decision on whether or not the series would continue is set to be taken by Sunday.

At such a juncture, the BCCI top brass is all set to meet and the concern bout players’ well-being is a priority for the cricket board.

“Yes it (the new Covid variant) is point of concern and we are having meeting with officials to discuss the roadmap of India tour to South Africa also about India A team which is already there,” a BCCI source told India Today.

“We will first talk to our officials about it and then will talk to Cricket South Africa to understand the situation and accordingly will take a call. We are already in touch with concerned authorities and keeping close track,” it added.

WILL BCCI CALL BACK INDIA A TEAM FROM SOUTH AFRICA?

When asked if the BCCI is planning to call back the India A team from South Africa even as countries are rushing to impose travel bans, the source said it’s too early to comment on the situation.

“It is too early to comment on that but yes safety and security of players is paramount. Let us meet first and talk to the South Africa board, As of now there is nothing to worry about, we are in constant touch with players and team management there,” the source added.

India A will play the 2nd of the 3 unofficial Tests from November 29 in Bloemfontein. The India senior national team is scheduled to begin the full-length tour with a Test series. The first Test is scheduled to get underway from December 17 in Johannesburg while the Boxing Day Test will be played in Centurion.

Also Read | India vs New Zealand: KS Bharat keeps wickets on Day 3 as Wriddhiman Saha gets treatment for stiff neck

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