Why Australia continues to be planning to tour COVID-ravaged South Africa

Cricket Australia and its players are determined to tour South Africa until the bio-security protocols are approved.Recognition:Getty

Players can only leave the hotel to train and play the three games, which will take place at the Centurion and Wanderers Stadium, to minimize the risk of infection related to air travel and moving to new accommodations. Fans are not allowed to enter the venues.

In South Africa, where a contagious strain of coronavirus was found, 7,150 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded on Thursday.

While there is a travel ban on Australians, an Australian Border Force spokesman said exemptions could “be considered in several categories”.

Players and team members must return a negative COVID-19 test no later than 72 hours prior to departure and quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Australia.

International cricket continues to be played around the world, with boards recognizing the need to support one another in order to keep the game financially alive. Australia’s limited overs team played in England in August / September and stayed in Manchester for part of the tour when the city was closed.

CA has taken exceptional steps to ensure that India’s recently completed Australian tour is valued at an estimated $ 300 million for the game. There are plans to send teams to South Africa and New Zealand for simultaneous tours – the latter is a complement to the international program to help its colleagues across the Tasman.

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“These are unprecedented times. Cricket Australia is committed to playing our role in international cricket while recognizing the challenges of the pandemic and ensuring the health and safety of our players, employees and the community, ”said Ben Oliver, head of the CA national team Week.

Greg Dyer, chairman of the Australian Cricketers’ Association, said players would be ready to travel if biosecurity measures were followed.

“It’s a virulent strain that is in the community over there that wants to make sure that all the protocols are in place and that they are being followed in full,” Dyer said.

“Everyone is exactly on the same page from CA management to team management to the players and ACA: how can we achieve this and how can we ensure that the protocols that have been drawn up and approved are fully followed . “

For Cricket South Africa, Australia’s tour is the headline, as a one-day international series against England has already been postponed amid fears that the biosecure bubble has been breached. Two positive tests were returned, but subsequent independent analysis found they were false positive.

“When you work on Biosecure environmental logs for COVID-19, you are working with other member states. If member states don’t support each other and play cricket, then cricket will be in a very challenging environment, ”said Graeme Smith, CSA’s cricket director, said last week.

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Andrew Wu writes on cricket and AFL for The Sydney Morning Herald

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