England men’s tour of South Africa to play two white-ball series has been confirmed to go ahead with three T20Is and three ODIs taking place behind closed doors in Cape Town and Paarl from next month. England will play three IT20s and three ODIs from November 27 despite the current situation involving SA government and Cricket SA, which may lead to potential banning of SA in international cricket scene.
The England and Wales Cricket Board have confirmed that the tour has received the green light after Cricket South Africa following an agreement that will grant travel exemptions for Eoin Morgan’s squad and will allow the team to train during their quarantine period. This series will be South Africa’s first, which forms the first part of the qualification pathway for the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
The three T20s start on November 27 at Newlands, Cape Town. The second match will be played at Boland Park, Paarl on November 29 and three-match ODI series, part of the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League, starts at Newlands on December 4. The second match will be played at Boland Park on December 6, with the series finale at Newlands three days later.
In a press statement, ECB Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison thanked Cricket South Africa (CSA) for making the tour possible. “They are working tirelessly to pull together a bio-secure plan in Cape Town and Paarl. We owe it to the sport that we do everything we can to keep international competition progressing during this pandemic,” Harrison said.
CSA Acting Chief Executive Kugandrie Govender was also full of anticipation for the series. “This is a wonderful boost for cricket,” Govender said. “The fact that England are the current World Cup champions will add tremendously to the two series and will give our own players every motivation to perform at their very best and challenge the acknowledged champions.”
Earlier, South Africa is under fire and in danger of being banned from international cricket following the threat of its government to intervene in the affairs of the sport’s national body following revelations of serious misconduct by senior officials. The tension between the South African government and CSA relates to a long-running investigation into the affairs of the cricket body.
It is learnt that the ICC’s constitution forbids government interference and the punishment is normally a ban from international games for the country’s teams until the national cricket body is operating independently again. The ICC confirmed it had received notice of potential intervention from the sports ministry but no complaint of interference yet from CSA.
According to reports, the ECB are expected to charter a flight to Cape Town which will arrive on November 17, ahead of the first international match about 10 days later. The squad will stay at the Vineyard Hotel and train, initially at least, at the Western Province Cricket Club ground where they will play inter-squad warm-up games. South Africa will later join them at the same hotel.
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