Australia's tour of South Africa postponed due to new variant outbreak

Australia's tour of South Africa postponed due to new variant outbreak”

"This determination has not been made calmly and we're extraordinarily upset, particularly given the significance of continuous worldwide cricket presently, our valued relationship with CSA, and our aspirations to compete within the inaugural ICC World Test Championship".

South Africa's director of cricket Graeme Smith vented his frustration on Tuesday at Australia's decision to withdraw from next month's Test tour of the country due to the rampant spread of the coronavirus.

Australia's chances in WTC were dented after their loss against India in the prestigious Border Gavaskar Trophy by 2-1.

As India prepares to meet England in Chennai, several questions about the Indian domestic circuit remain shrouded in a cloud of doubt.

In a statement, Cricket Australia said in light of the second wave of infections, South Africa "poses an unacceptable level of health and safety risk". If the forthcoming series between India and England is drawn or India win the series 1-0 or England wins 2-0, 2-1 then Australia progress through to the finals.

Australia are now placed at the third position on the points table with 69.2 percentage of points and 332 points and was in contention of making it to the final of the marquee tournament that will be played from June 18 to June 22 at the Lord's Cricket Ground in England. Australia, now third in the WTC points table behind leaders India and New Zealand, needed to win two Tests in South Africa and prevent their hosts from winning one, to ensure their spot in the inaugural WTC decider.

The Australians were to be accommodated at the Irene Sports Complex in Pretoria, which successfully hosted Sri Lanka's recent tour to South Africa. "Now the Pakistan Women's team are touring the country in a secure BSE in Durban", the release added.

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The scheduled three-Test tour has officially been "postponed" and no date has been set for when it will take place.

"The ACA offers its assistance to CA in exploring new options with Cricket South Africa for this series to be rescheduled".

CSA's Chief Medical officer, Dr Shuaib Manjra said that they couldn't have done anything more to appease and meet the requirement of the CA.

CA isn't expected to send any of Australia's Test stars to the five-match T20 tour of NZ, given they already stated they wouldn't make changes even if the Test series in South Africa got cancelled.

"Amongst some of the other key arrangements made were that all four areas (two hotels and two venues) had a protocol to implement a strict BSE with no contact with anybody outside this area".

South Africa also had to deal with a cancellation in early December when England withdrew from the ODI portion of its tour after a virus outbreak at the supposedly bio-secure Cape Town hotel where both teams were staying.

With Australia being virtually knocked out of the race to the final, that means New Zealand have qualified for the final of World Test Championship.

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