Team India have already landed in Johannesburg and are scheduled to play three match test series and as many ODIs starting from December 26 in Centurion.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) have decided unanimously that the series will go on even if there is a positive case of Covid-19 among players or support staff. It has been also made clear by CSA’s chief medical officer Shuaib Manjra that close contacts will not be forced to isolate.
However, it has been also made clear that the BCCI can pull out of the SA if the situation worsens in the African nation.
“There is an agreed medical protocol between Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI),” CSA’s chief medical officer Shuaib Manjra said.
“Considering that everyone within the Bio-Secure Environments’ (BSE) and the broader cricket ecosystem will be vaccinated, any positive case will isolate within their designated hotel room if clinically stable, or an alternate space within the hotel,” he added.
The doctors of the respective team will take care of any players who tests positive for Covid-19.
“They will remain under the care of their respective team doctors. Any contacts (close or incidental) will continue playing and training with non-pharmaceutical interventions strictly observed. All team members will undergo symptom screening and COVID-19 testing daily, and the tour will proceed as planned,” he added.
Rapid Antigen tests will take place daily and both the parties are ready to tackle the situations. Even the hotel staffs were put in isolation a week before the Indian Team arrived.
“Hotel staff have been living in their respective BSE’s for at least seven days prior to the arrival of both teams and have tested on a daily basis prior to the arrival of the teams,” Manjra further added.
Shuaib Manjra also added that the luxurious hotels in which the team India is staying is spacious so that their stay becomes comfortable.
“In order to promote a happy and comfortable BSE for the teams, CSA has ensured that the hotels that the teams are staying in have large outdoor spaces that allow for safe recreational activities and have allowed teams to travel with their families,” Manjra said.
The BCCI has clearly mentioned that cancellation of the tour is totally not an option as far as Team India are concerned.
“As of now, everyone is in the bubble and being tested regularly,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
“The bone of contention was what happens to close contacts. You can have one player or support staff testing positive but in earlier times, we have seen that close contacts, even if they return negative in RT-PCR, have to isolate themselves. When that happens, it becomes difficult to continue with the matches,” the official said.
The tour which is scheduled to start from December 26 is an important one for South Africa from commercial point of the view. A massive income will be generated from the broadcasting rights. The tour will be played behind closed doors.