Cape Town, October 22
England will travel to South Africa next month to play six limited-overs games against the Proteas after the South African government agreed to exempt the touring team from its coronavirus travel restrictions.
South Africa currently doesn’t allow anyone to travel in from what it terms “high-risk” countries, with Britain on the list of 22 nations.
But South Africa eased the rules for the England squad, which will be based in Cape Town throughout the three-week tour. The teams will play three Twenty20 games and three one-day internationals.
Four games will be at Newlands in Cape Town with the other two in the nearby city of Paarl, meaning England can stay in a bio-bubble at the same hotel for the entire tour. South Africa has more than 7,00,000 confirmed cases of the virus.
England will travel on a chartered flight and depart for South Africa on November 16. The T20s are on November 27, November 29 and December 1. The ODIs will be played December 4, December 6 and December 9. No fans will attend the games.
The England players and staff are expected to be in quarantine for at least a week after arriving but will be allowed to attend training during that time.
“We owe it to the sport that we do everything we can to keep international competition progressing during this pandemic,” ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said.
England has had a reasonably busy schedule during the pandemic having played West Indies, Ireland, Pakistan and Australia – all at home – since July. South Africa hasn’t played international cricket since early March.
The England tour comes at a time of crisis for South African cricket, which has been rocked by revelations of misconduct by senior executives and was severely criticized by the government last week.
South Africa’s sports minister said he intends to intervene and take over the running of the national cricket body after the under-fire board refused to step down. AP