The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is not in a hurry to decide on the team’s upcoming all-format tour of South Africa. The series is under serious doubt after the emergence of a new heavily mutated variant of COVID-19 named Omicron, which is spreading fast in the African region. India A squad, who are in Bloemfontein have completed one of three unofficial Tests against South Africa. The two remaining Tests are likely to go as per schedule.
Meanwhile, India’s tour of South Africa comprises three Tests, three ODIs, and four T20Is. The team is set to leave the country on December 8. It remains to be seen if the tour goes as per schedule as the Women’s World Cup Qualifiers and South Africa men’s ODI series against the Netherlands have been cancelled because of the outbreak.
BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal said they are in constant touch with Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the decision will be taken soon, adding that the health and safety of players are the top priority. “We are in constant touch with Cricket South Africa, while continuously monitoring the situation over there. Health and safety of the cricketers are paramount and we will act accordingly,” BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal told The Sunday Express.
The Indian government have called for rigorous screening and testing of those travelling from South Africa, Hong Kong, and Botswana, where the Omicron virus is spreading rapidly. The health ministry has termed the variant as dangerous.
Dhumal said the health ministry's advisory will be considered before taking a call. “Health Ministry’s directive is supreme. If we get any advisory in this regard, we will certainly follow that,” Dhumal said.
If the tour goes as per plan, the Indian team members are likely to undergo strict quarantine norms and protocols.