- South Africa’s two-Test series against Sri Lanka over the festive season will go ahead as planned.
- It is a major boost for CSA, who lost their ODI series against England this week after several coronavirus scares.
- The matches will take place at Centurion and the Wanderers.
The Proteas’ two-Test series against Sri Lanka over December and January will go ahead as planned, Cricket South Africa (CSA) confirmed on Thursday.
There had been concerns over the status of the series given that South Africa’s ODI series against England was called off on Monday after a number of coronavirus scares emerged from within the Cape Town bio-bubble that had been created for both squads and their management.
The cricket community, including acting CSA chairperson Zak Yacoob, has been critical of CSA’s handling of the England squad during their stay in South Africa, allowing them too much freedom that included golf days in between matches.
After the postponement of the ODI series, Sri Lanka had then expressed concern over their tour to South Africa and wanted certain guarantees regarding the safety of their travelling party.
In a CSA statement released on Thursday, though, it was confirmed that Sri Lanka had taken the decision to honour their commitment to the series, which will form part of the ICC Test Championship.
Sri Lanka, now coached by former Proteas boss Mickey Arthur, will travel “with immediate effect to South Africa to further assess the situation and make necessary arrangements for the team’s arrival.”
“Cricket South Africa appreciates the ongoing support from Sri Lanka Cricket under the leadership of Ashley de Silva, who has never wavered in its willingness to engage us in important and open discussions around our plans and the state of our readiness for the tour,” CSA’s acting CEO Kugandrie Govender said.
“We are thankful that these discussions have allayed any trepidation around CSA’s ability to successfully host home tours in these unpredicted times.
“As always, we are excited to host the Sri Lankan team in this important, World Test Championship series that will yield crucial points towards the points table for the eventual winners. We are also certain that cricket fans around the world will tune in for another series of thrilling cricket on display.”
The Boxing Day Test will be hosted at Centurion while the New Year’s Test, starting on January 3, will be played at the Wanderers.
Proteas team doctor Shuaib Manjra has confirmed that a bio-bubble environment will be set up in Gauteng that will accommodate both sides, but that stricter measures will have to be applied.
Saturday, 26-30 December 2020 at 10:00 SAST:
1st Test: South Africa v Sri Lanka, SuperSport Park, Centurion
Sunday, 3-7 January 2021 at 10:00 SAST:
2nd Test: South Africa vs Sri Lanka, Imperial Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg