South Africa’s tour of Sri Lanka which was to take place in June later this year has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was taken jointly by Sri Lanka Cricket and Cricket South Africa, with a new date for the tour – which comprises three ODIs and three Tests – to be announced later. Also Read - Sri Lankan Spin Legend Muttiah Muralitharan Announces His Biopic '800' With Vijay Sethupathi
“It is very sad that we have been forced to take this step and we will re-schedule the tour as soon as cricket returns to a sense of normality and our international fixture list allows,” CSA Acting Chief Executive Jacques Faul said. Also Read - Former South Africa Pacer Vernon Philander's Younger Brother Shot Dead in Cape Town
“Our Proteas would not have been able to prepare properly taking our own lockdown situation into account and, more importantly, health considerations for our players, which are always paramount, were the over-riding factor.” Also Read - Mzansi Super League 2020 Postponed to Next Year Due to Coronavirus
The ODI leg would have been South Africa’s first commitment in the ICC’s new one-day league. However, with the big three of international cricket – BCCI, ECB and CA – pushing for the scrapping of the league due to the pandemic, it may not be too big a loss in the long run. The tour will be rescheduled, once normality returns and also when the International Cricket Calendars of both nations opens up for a rescheduling.
“It would have been a particularly important tour for us with the three ODIs counting for the new ICC one-day league and the T20 programme being part of our preparation for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup scheduled for Australia later this year. It is very frustrating for the players who want to build on the good form they showed at the backend of our home summer against Australia,” Faul added.
The postponement of the tour is expected to impact Cricket South Africa’s money woes as not too long ago, the board was expected to lose around USD50-million by the end of the 2022 rights cycle. But with the world-wide outbreak of the COVID-19, the damage is now likely to worsen.