India's South Africa tour: Virat Kohli and co await clarity from BCCI amid Omicron threat
India’s scheduled South Africa tour this month is in jeopardy following the outbreak of the new COVID variant. Meanwhile, Indian skipper Virat Kohli has asserted that the team is discussing the BCCI over the same.
India is supposed to go on a tour of South Africa this month, comprising three Tests, three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and four Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). However, the trip is in jeopardy following the outbreak of a new COVID variant in the southern hemisphere of the African continent, while it is fast spreading across the world.
In the same light, Indian skipper Virat Kohli has said that the team is in discussion with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as to how safe it would be to tour SA at this point along with the health safety arrangements and assurances in the country. The BCCI is currently awaiting instruction from the Indian government over the feasibility of travelling to SA for the tour.
“We have been talking to the BCCI. We need to have more clarity, and hopefully, we will know more in the next couple of days. Rahul bhai has spoken to all senior players. We mustn't be left in a confused situation or spot. We are not playing in normal times anyway. We have spoken to all the members of the squad,” he said during the pre-match press conference.
However, earlier, the South African government had assured the best health safety measures and regulations for the Indians arriving in SA, along with the best bio-bubble atmosphere. “South Africa will take all precautions necessary to ensure the health and safety of the Indian teams. A full Bio-secure environment will be established around both the South African and Indian ‘A’ Teams as well as the two National Teams,” South African International Relations and Cooperation Department (SAIRCD) had said in a statement.
“India’s decision to show solidarity by choosing to continue with the tour of the Indian ‘A’ Team stands in contrast with a number of countries who have decided to close their borders and to restrict travel from Southern African after South Africa announced the detection of the new Omicron variant,” it had further added.