While the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to impact worldwide cricketing activities, the Indian cricket team is likely to get back onto the field in the form of a South African tour in late August. According to a latest report in ESPNCricinfo, Cricket South Africa Director Graeme Smith discussed the potential tour with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly back inn February. While there has been no official announcement made regarding the series yet, the deal was reportedly finalised on Wednesday, May 20.
According to the reports, the Indian team is set to visit South Africa in late August for three T20I matches. However, the three-match series is not a part of the Future Tours Programme (FTP). The news of the development was made public by Cricket South Africa's acting CEO Jacques Faul while speaking with the press. Although considering the lockdown situations in both countries, a final approval will be given only near August since the cricket boards will be requiring travel permits from their respective governments.
Interestingly, South Africa were slated to be India’s last opponent before the India lockdown came into effect. The South African cricket team toured India in March for a three-match ODI series. While the first ODI turned out to be a damp squib, the remainder of the series was then called off by BCCI and Cricket South Africa.
The contagious nature of the coronavirus disease prompted the Indian government to impose India lockdown in March 25, i.e. just days before the launch of the much-awaited Indian Premier League 2020 (IPL 2020) season. Due to the lockdown, BCCI delayed the start of the tournament until further notice. However, in late April, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly stated that there are no plans of staging any cricketing activities in India in the near future.
In spite of Sourav Ganguly’s announcement, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and apex council member Anshuman Gaekwad recently hinted at the IPL 2020 taking up the September-November window later this year, should the T20 World Cup in Australia get shifted to 2021. The T20 World Cup was originally intended to be played between October 18 and November 15.