The letter from Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings states that Australia’s test tour of South Africa was “untenable”.
“We acknowledge that CSA finds it disappointing that the tour was postponed relatively late in the discussions. I assure you that our teams have been directed to do whatever they can to make the tour possible. Therefore, we continue to work hard and in good faith on plans and biosecurity protocols until it became clear in the last few days that the remaining risks were unsustainable.
“As soon as this became clear, we informed you immediately, as we were aware that CSA will soon start to cover costs such as hotel deposits. As discussed with your interim CEO, we are ready to contribute to the expense of planning the tour and we discover that, like you, we have put many hours of work, including hiring leading medical professionals, to doing this makes the tour possible. “
The Age and Sydney Morning Herald previously reported that CA has not yet received confirmation of how the players would be safely transported from OR Tambo International Airport to the team’s rural ranch, Irene Country Lodge in Pretoria, where the Australians found to be in Johannesburg and Centurion for tests.
However, CSA has since denied this, and a spokesman gave a glimpse of what CA was requesting when quoted on the Manners on Cricket blog. The spokesman said the tourists either passed immigration at a private terminal or were picked up on a bus on the tarmac with a police security detail and given their details at the Irene Lodge.
“To imply that they didn’t know how to travel is insincere at best. We had already quarantined the main driver and a reserve driver in Irene. CA has even stipulated that, despite their 14-day quarantine, they want four or five layers of protection between the players and the drivers, “the spokesman said.
“The drivers would have to wear an inner mask, an outer mask and a visor, and there would have to be plexiglass shields between the players and the driver. The bus was cleaned and disinfected to the highest standard every day. CA knew all of this … “
CSA did not want to comment during the week but has written to the International Cricket Council for feedback. One option is whether CA can be included on the dispute settlement committee.
CA reiterated on Saturday that the tour should continue provided all protocols were followed, regularly pointing out that its decision nearly ended the team’s hopes of qualifying for the first final of the Test World Championship.
CA had offered to direct the series in Australia, with Perth as an option, but CSA declined.
“As you know, about three weeks ago we made the offer to CSA to host the series in Australia, as COVID-19 is relatively rare in Australia at this point. This would have ensured that the series could safely continue, ”said Eddings.
“Of course we respect your decision not to accept this offer. We are again very sorry that we cannot tour as a board member at this time due to the medical advice and the associated duty of care. In the end, however, we had no choice.
“We are aware of the many unfortunate consequences of this decision, including for cricket fans in Australia, South Africa and around the world who will for the time being miss the opportunity to see a great series of tests. There are also major disappointments among our playgroup and the Australian public. “
Jon Pierik is a cricket writer for The Age. He also reports on AFL and has won awards for his cricket and basketball writing.
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