Cricket South Africa has put a halt on the First-Class fixtures after as many 10 members of their 16-man squad were exposed to Covid-19 this week.
With South Africa officially entering the second wave of coronavirus, the decision to halt the FC matches comes as a precautionary measure ahead of the all-important two-match Test series against Sri Lanka, starting December 26.
Three of the four First-Class fixtures were scheduled to take place on Sunday. Five of the 16-squad members were involved in the Dolphins vs Titans fixture, which was called-off on day 01 after a Dolphins player tested positive.
Another five members featured in a match between the Eagles and Lions which culminated on Wednesday despite the fact that a Lions player tested positive on the third day of the game.
Four-day matches were due to start on Sunday. Five squad members were in a match between the Dolphins and Titans which was abandoned after one day on Monday when a Dolphins player tested positive. Another five-Test squad members played in a match between the Eagles and Lions which was completed on Wednesday despite one player testing positive.
Victor Mpitsang, the convenor of selectors, informed that the Test squad was due to assemble on Saturday
”All the players will be tested before going into the bubble,” he said. Mpitsang said it was possible some players might have to delay joining the rest of the squad depending on medical advice,”
Meanwhile, Graeme Smith, former South African skipper and the current director of cricket, said that the decision to postpone the domestic fixtures was taken keeping in mind the health of players, support staff, and stadium workers.
“CSA is committed to mitigating the impact of Covid-19 on the 2020/21 season, with the upcoming two-match Test series between South Africa and Sri Lanka being played in a bio-secure environment, which is a more controlled space than the domestic competition,” said Graeme Smith.