Cricket South Africa (CSA) Graeme Smith has expressed disappointment with Cricket Australia (CA)'s decision to postpone the upcoming Test series with the Proteas due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Former Proteas skipper Smith said the CSA was working tirelessly in recent weeks to ensure that they meet every single expectation of the CA.
"We are extremely disappointed by the decision of CA. CSA has been working tirelessly in recent weeks to ensure that we meet every single expectation of CA," said Smith in CSA release.
"This was set to be the longest tour in a BSE comprising a three-match Test series that was scheduled to begin with Australia's arrival later in the month. So to be informed about the CA decision at the eleventh hour is frustrating," he added.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Cricket South Africa was informed by Cricket Australia that their scheduled tour to SA will not be going ahead due to Covid-19 fears.— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) February 2, 2021
“We are extremely disappointed by the decision of CA,” Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith, stated. 🗣 pic.twitter.com/NW0ZfyMFbT
In an official statement released by Cricket Australia, the governing body confirmed the postponement of their three-match Test tour to the 'Rainbow Nation'. The statement mentioned that traveling from Australia to South Africa in the current situation was an unacceptable level of health and safety risk to their players, support staff, and the community. South Africa has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases, including a second wave and the emergence of a new strain of the virus.
The statement also acknowledged the significant amount of work by CSA in planning for the tour and revealed that Cricket Australia were prepared to take on additional cost and effort to make the series happen. The release also mentioned that the board was extremely disappointed to have arrived at the decision, especially given the importance of continuing international cricket at this time, our valued relationship with Cricket South Africa (CSA).
The Proteas were all set to host the Aussies in a three-match Test series in March. The decision of suspending the away Test tour has done some damage to Australia's chances of making it to the inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship finals.
They currently occupy the third spot in the ICC World Test Championship points table with 332 points. The Tim Paine-led side was docked four points for a slow over-rate against India during the Boxing Day Test match at the MCG and had this reduction not taken place, then Australia would have been ahead of NZ on percentage. They will now depend on other results for their spot in the finals.
Meanwhile, New Zealand have become the first team to qualify for the final. The summit clash of the WTC will be contested at the 'Mecca of Cricket' Lord's from June 18-22.
(With ANI Inputs)
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