Indiaโ€™s tour of South Africa to go ahead

Indiaโ€™s tour of South Africa will go ahead, despite the threat of new COVID-19 mutant Omicron. However, keeping the current situation in mind, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) have mutually agreed to play three Tests and as many ODIs. The T20I series will be held at a later date.

The decision has been taken after India was assured of a โ€˜water-tightโ€™ bio-bubble in South Africa.

The national selection committee is expected to announce the squads in a day or two, with the team expected to leave early on December 9 and undergo quarantine upon its arrival in South Africa.

As per the original schedule, the India was scheduled to play three Tests, three ODIs and T20 Internationals, starting on December 17 in Johannesburg.

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The players who are not part of the squad for the New Zealand series have already reached Mumbai and are in a quarantine. They will enter the bubble, before travelling to South Africa. It is believed that at least for the initial phase, the matches could be held behind closed doors.

โ€œThe CSA has assured us that the bubble is safe and that there will be no problem. Safety of our players and staff is paramount and there wonโ€™t be any compromise on that front,โ€ a source in the BCCI said.

It is believed that the Board was waiting for an advisory from the government and so far, it has not received any communication on not going ahead with the tour.

The heavily-mutated Omicron variant of COVID-19 was identified last month in South Africa, and cases have spiked in the country significantly over the last few days. While several countries have imposed travel restrictions to South Africa, the Indian players, too, were awaiting clarity. But the successful completion of India Aโ€™s tour of South Africa has given enough confidence to the BCCI that the bubble is safe.

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