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IND vs SA 2021-22: Matches to be played behind closed doors, confirms Cricket South Africa

India and South Africa will clash for three Tests and three ODIs. However, the threat of the Omicron COVID variant has forced the matches to be played behind closed doors.

India vs South Africa, IND vs SA, Freedom Trophy 2021-22:  Matches to be played behind closed doors, confirms Cricket South Africa (CSA)-ayh
Johannesburg, First Published Dec 20, 2021, 8:54 PM IST
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It would be a treat for the fans as India and South Africa lock horns in three Tests for the 2021-22 Freedom Trophy, followed by a three-match One-Day International (ODI) series. However, the new COVID variant Omicron has made things haywire again with a fresh outbreak. As a result, all the matches will be played behind closed doors.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced the same on Monday afternoon. The decision was taken after careful consideration along with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The decision comes despite the South African government issuing directives of holding 2,000 fully vaccinated spectators inside sporting venues.

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Nevertheless, both BCCI and CSA took the call for the safety of the players and to save the bio-bubble integrity. In the meantime, CSA will be allowing its corporate partners inside the hospitality suites to execute the contractual obligations. But, even the hospitality suites would be subject to 50% capacity.

"Regrettably, CSA wishes to inform the most ardent fans of cricket as well as all sports lovers that owing to the increasing Covid cases around the world, and the fourth wave locally, the two cricketing bodies have taken a joint decision to protect the players and the tour by NOT making tickets available for the India vs Proteas offerings," read a statement from CSA.

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"As part of ongoing efforts to increase the reach of cricket, CSA is exploring other alternative public viewing activations which will ensure that a limited number of fans are able to enjoy the summer cricket atmosphere with other fans via activation sites, while still observing the strictest safety measures and exercising duty of care. CSA will announce the available alternative public viewing activations as soon as the relevant approvals have been secured," it added.

It will be only the second tour in South Africa that will be conducted without the spectators after the 2020-21 Tests against Sri Lanka and the limited-overs series against Pakistan last summer. Although the fans were allowed briefly during the Netherlands ODI series last month, it was called off just after a match.

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