Concerns over new coronavirus strain cast a shadow India’s A-tour through South Africa but BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal has informed NDTV that the tour will continue as scheduled. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCC) is closely monitoring the situation in South Africa. The first unofficial test between India A and South Africa A in Bloemfontein ended in a draw after play washed out on the fourth and final day. Meanwhile, the Indian men’s senior national team leaves for South Africa on 9 December.
“Yes, the tour is on. We’re watching closely,” Arun Dhumal told NDTV.
A new coronavirus variant – B.1.1.529 – has been flagged by scientists with a red flag over a worryingly high number of peak mutations that could make the virus more vaccine-resistant, increase its transmissibility and lead to more serious symptoms.
The variant, which was first identified in South Africa this week, has spread to nearby countries, including Botswana, where people who have been fully vaccinated are infected. In South Africa, more than 100 cases have been linked to this variant, with four more in Botswana.
The second match of the series of three matches for the India A team will be played at the same venue from 29 November.
The A-tour was arranged before the senior team’s series against South Africa which starts next month.
India’s senior team is scheduled to play three Test matches, three ODIs and four T20Is as part of the bilateral series in South Africa.
The series starts with the first test in Johannesburg from 17 December, followed by the Second Christmas Day test in Centurion and the last test in Cape Town from 3 January.
The first one-day match will be played in Paarl in January, followed by two more one-day matches in Cape Town (14 and 16 January).
Cape Town will also host the openings of two T20Is (on 19 and 21 January). The series will then conclude in Paarl with the last two T20Is on 23 and 26 January.
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