Sri Lanka’s two-Test tour of South Africa will take place as scheduled. Boards of both the countries have decided that the tour will get underway with the Boxing Day Test at Centurion as per schedule. There were doubts over the series after the ODI between South Africa and England was cancelled owing to medical situations.
But after both the boards held detailed discussions with Namal Rajapaksa and apprised the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports of Sri Lanka about the situation in South Africa, the tour has got the green light.
“[Discussions] ended with the decision to honour the commitments made under the FTP. This was followed by an assessment conducted by the SLC Medical Unit headed by Professor Arjuna De Silva, who advised SLC to proceed with the series,” a release from Cricket South Africa said.
As a result of the positive discussion, the Sri Lankan team will leave for South Africa as scheduled. On the other hand, head coach Mickey Arthur and a health specialist will travel with immediate effect to South Africa to further assess the situation and make necessary arrangements for the team’s arrival.
Earlier this month, England’s tour of South Africa was postponed midway due to health fears. The three-match T20I series went well before the ODI series was indefinitely postponed. As many as seven positive tests for Covid-19 were announced amidst claims of a bio-bubble breach.
As a result, there were apprehensions that South Africa’s entire home season might be in jeopardy. But things have taken a turn for good for the Proteas. An assessment conducted by the Medical Unit headed by Professor Arjuna De Silva advised SLC to proceed with the series that will be played under the ICC Test Championship umbrella.
“Cricket South Africa appreciates the ongoing support from Sri Lanka Cricket under the leadership of Ashley de Silva, who has never wavered in its willingness to engage us in important and open discussions around our plans and the state of our readiness for the tour,” CSA Acting CEO, Ms. Kugandrie Govender said.
“We are thankful that these discussions have allayed any trepidation around CSA’s ability to successfully host home tours in these unpredicted times. As always, we are excited to host the Sri Lankan team in this important, World Test Championship series that will yield crucial points towards the points table for the eventual winners. We are also certain that cricket fans around the world will tune in for another series of thrilling cricket on display,” added Govender.