New COVID variant affects cricket globally

The Indian cricket team is scheduled to tour South Africa in December.

The announcement of travel bans following the detection of a new strain of coronavirus, ‘Omicron’ in South Africa has put its cricket governing body in turmoil. 

After playing a rain-hit ODI in South Africa, the rest of the matches against the Netherlands are currently in jeopardy. The final two matches of its three-match one-day international tour got postponed after the outbreak of a new COVID variant.

The Netherlands cricket team, however, will remain in the country as they have been unable to catch a flight to depart. The cricket board of the Netherlands revealed that the postponement is due to worries over travel back home instead of the uncertainty about the security of South Africa cricket’s ‘bio-secure bubble’. 

The Indian cricket team is scheduled to have a South Africa tour in December and January. The decision to fly out there will now require the permission of the Indian government as their approval is needed. The dates to fly out to South Africa is December 8 and 9. Although the borders between both countries are still open, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked officials to evaluate the condition.

Three Test matches, three ODIs and four T20 internationals are scheduled to play in South Africa by the Indian cricket team. The India A team is currently in South Africa and have played one unofficial Test, which was drawn. There hasn’t been any official announcement on cancelling the series yet.

If reports are to be believed, the Australia v England Ashes series could be affected too because of Australia’s ‘zero-COVID’ policies. Both the involved cricket boards will discuss this and will give out a final call. The series begins on December 8 and will run until January 18.

Moreover, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has abandoned the Women’s Cricket World Cup qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe and teams now will qualify based on their rankings.

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