Cricket Australia, on Tuesday, called off their due tour of South Africa citing a new wave of COVID-19 virus in the host country as the reason. The Australia men’s cricket team was supposed to depart for South Africa in late February for the three-match Test series. CA had even named a 19-man Test squad, last week, for the South Africa tour for which dates were yet to be finalized.
CA’s Interim CEO Nick Hockley, in an official statement, confirmed the postponement of the Test series which would’ve been a part of the ICC World Test Championship.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan has hit out at Cricket Australia for the same. He has questioned the Australian board whether they would have done the same if it were a tour of India. Vaughan has reminded that the Big Three (India, Australia, England) should aide other cricketing nations during these times of financial stress, imposed by the pandemic.
“The Aussies pulling out of the tour of SA is a huge worry for the game … Would they have pulled out of a tour to India is the question ?? !! It’s so important in these times that the big 3 do everything they can to help out those without the financial clout … #JustSaying”: Vaughan wrote on Twitter.
After CA’s statement, Cricket South Africa (CSA) director Graeme Smith expressed his immense disappointment over the tour getting called off. CA’s CEO Nick Hockley explained the reasoning behind the board’s ‘heartbreaking’ move.
“I’d refute that in the strongest possible terms. We have done absolutely everything we possibly can to make this tour happen. It’s a very difficult situation in South Africa just now, that’s what makes it even more heartbreaking that we are not able to go,” CA interim CEO said in a statement.
“We would love to go but the medical advice says it’s not safe to do so. We want to play cricket, we want to support world cricket,” he added.