IND vs SA 2021-22: Emergence of new COVID variant in southern Africa casts shadow over India's tour
India will be touring South Africa from December 17. However, after the emergence of the new COVID variant 'Omicron' in the southern hemisphere of the continent, the tour is in jeopardy.
While Team India is currently engaged in a challenging two-Test series against New Zealand at home, it is scheduled to travel to South Africa next month for a complete tour, starting with the three-Test series from December 17. However, the tour is now under threat, especially following the emergence of the new COVID variant 'Omicron' in the southern hemisphere of the continent.
South Africa is currently hosting the Netherlands. Although the tour is going ahead as planned, along with India A's tour in the country, uncertainty still lies regarding the future of both tours. Meanwhile, it has also got the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) thinking. Additionally, with SA being put on India's red list of travel zone, the situation has become trickier.
As per Reuters, the Indian government has asked Indian states to screen international travellers from South Africa rigorously and adequately. On the other hand, a BCCI official told PTI that it is awaiting a detailed picture of the situation from Cricket South Africa (CSA), while until then, it would not be able to decide its next course of action.
The Indian team is likely to leave for SA on December 8/9, right after the conclusion of the NZ Tests. The official also intimated that they could be forced into a rigid quarantine for three or four days despite the players travelling in a charter flight. An official with India A team stated that after a meeting with CSA officials, the team was assured of no worries since the cases of the new variant are far away from its next stop in Bloemfontein.