The remaining two ODIs between India and South Africa have been called off due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the BCCI announced on Friday (March 13). After the washout in Dharamsala, the remainder of the games were due to be played in Lucknow and Kolkata behind closed doors. However, given the rising COVID-19 pandemic and the increase in the number of positive cases, the board decided to call off the two games.
BCCI stated in a release, “Cricket South Africa will visit India at a later date to play 3 One-day Internationals. The BCCI-CSA will jointly work out the revised schedule.”
Acting CSA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Jacques Faul and Graeme Smith, the Interim Director of Cricket expressed their gratitude to the BCCI for the decision, a release stated.
“Our view is that this decision is both necessary and a precaution that had to be taken in the interest of cricket and the sustainability of the game. We are monitoring the situation with the virus and are in constant consultation with medical and virology experts. We will apply our minds to the input of experts and act in a way that reflects our duty of caring for our players”, Faul said.
“We are currently doing a full risk assessment on the influence of the virus on our operations, including the current domestic season,” he added.
The decision follows a number of tournaments around the world that have been deferred. Earlier in the day, the IPL too was suspended until April 15.
“The BCCI is concerned and sensitive about all its stakeholders, and public health in general, and it is taking all necessary steps to ensure that, all people related to IPL including fans have a safe cricketing experience,” a BCCI media release had stated.
“The BCCI will work closely with the Government of India along with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and all other relevant Central and State Government departments in this regard.”
According to the WHO, the novel Coronavirus has affected 118 nations so far. Around 120,000 people have been affected by the virus with over 4,300 deaths across the globe. In India, 81 people have been laid low by the virus.