ST JOHN’S, Antigua — Cricket West Indies (CWI) officials are still hopeful South Africa’s tour of the West Indies will come off later this year, even as they announced yesterday the Proteas’ upcoming Women’s and ‘A’ Team series have been put on hold.
CWI said agreement had been reached with Cricket South Africa (CSA) to postpone the Women’s Colonial Medical Insurance One-Day International (ODI) Series, scheduled to begin at the end of the month in Jamaica and Trinidad, as well as the Men’s ‘A’ Team Series scheduled to commence here in June.
The uncertainty of international travel and quarantine requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the health and safety of both teams influenced the postponements.
“The health and safety of the players and coaching staff is of paramount importance to both CWI and CSA and with the current COVID-19 travel restrictions it is impossible for us to consider both tours taking place as we had originally planned,” said CWI’s CEO Johnny Grave, adding that further discussions will be held on new dates for the tours.
No changes to the schedule of the senior men’s five-match T20I and two-Test tour, due to start in the Caribbean on July, were announced in yesterday’s statement.
But Grave gave an indication it was still on the cards.
“We are continuing our discussions with CSA on the feasibility of hosting the men’s tour later this summer,” he said.
West Indies Women were scheduled to play South Africa in five ODIs, prior to the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier in July. However, CWI and CSA agreed to hold off on that series in light of the fact that South Africa finished third in the ICC Women’s Championship and earned automatic qualification, and in response to the ICC’s announcement on Tuesday of the postponement of the Women’s Qualifier Tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cricket and other major sporting events across the globe have been either postponed or cancelled due to the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 that has infected more than 4.3 million people and resulted in more than 295,000 deaths.
“It is a frustrating state of affairs in which cricket finds itself around the world but there are more important issues that have to be confronted and the well-being of our players and support staff must always come first,” said CSA’s acting CEO Dr Jacques Faul.
Both our men’s and women’s national teams are keen to get back on the playing field as soon as possible. They want to build on their recent good results with the men achieving a 3-0 victory over Australia in their recent Momentum ODI series and our Momentum Proteas women coming so close to reaching the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final.”
Last month it was announced that South Africa’s limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka, which was scheduled for the first half of June, had been postponed.