Australia's tour of South Africa postponed due to new variant outbreak

Australia's tour of South Africa postponed due to new variant outbreak

Australia have pulled out of the South African tour comprising three Tests, which was scheduled in March, due to the COVID-19 outburst.

Cricket Australia interim chief Nick Hockley said travelling to South Africa at this time posed an "unacceptable" risk to the players and their health.

"The Australian players were ready for the contest with South Africa, especially to support South African cricket at this time with the added challenge of making the final of the ICC Test Championship", said the ACA's interim chief executive, Joe Connellan.

Australia pulling out of the South Africa tour meant New Zealand became the first team to qualify for the final of the ICC World Test Championship, which will be played at Lord's later this year.

Australia's top male players were supposed to be split across simultaneous series in two countries, with a limited-overs squad set to fly to New Zealand for five Twenty20 games, starting on February 22.

"We are extremely disappointed by the decision of CA", director of cricket Graeme Smith stated.

"We acknowledge the significant amount of work by CSA in planning for the tour", Hockley said.

CSA also alluded to the fact that President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an easing of lockdown restrictions on Monday in response to the 75% reduction in new COVID-19 infections since the peak of the second wave in December 2020, and mentioned that "South Africa recently hosted Sri Lanka in a bio-secure environment (BSE) at Centurion, with no breaches of protocol".

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Australia cricket team is hit with a massive blow as they have been eliminated from the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship (WTC).

The Australian men's cricket team's Test tour of South Africa has been cancelled after long negotiations over biosecurity protocols due to coronavirus.

They were due to leave the sub-continent ahead of the upcoming T20I series against Pakistan, in order to prepare and undergo necessary quarantine period for the Australian tour.

'As hard and disappointing a decision as this is, especially for Justin (Langer), Tim (Paine) and the team, we have a duty of care to our people and their health and safety can't be compromised.

To make this possible, the Test players now in Pakistan are returning to South Africa immediately after the end of the second Test next Monday.

"The ACA offers its assistance to CA in exploring new options with Cricket South Africa for this series to be rescheduled".

South Africa later hosted and won a two-test series against Sri Lanka which ended on January 5 in Johannesburg. The touring team was also going to be granted VIP access through the airports, after government intervention to ensure this privilege, ' he explained.

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