“Against the spirit of sportsmanship” – Cricket South Africa writes to ICC over CA’s decision to postpone tour

Following Australia’s decision to postpone their Test tour of South Africa, Cricket South Africa (CSA) have written to the International Cricket Council (ICC), terming Australia’s decision “against the spirit of sportsmanship.”

After initially agreeing to visit South Africa for three Tests, Cricket Australia (CA) recently decided to postpone the tour, citing ‘unacceptable’ coronavirus risk.

According to a report in ESPNCricinfo, the CSA letter also claims that Australia’s decision to pull out will raise questions over the credibility of the World Test Championship (WTC).

With the Australia-South Africa series postponed, New Zealand became the first team to qualify for the final of the World Test Championship (WTC).

Further, CSA have asked the ICC to consider the financial losses that less wealthy cricket boards have to incur when planned tours do not take place.

The report further added that while the CSA have not lodged a formal complaint over the matter, the letter is a “means of opening communication about finding the best possible outcome to maintain international cricket schedule during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

While announcing the decision to postpone the tour, Cricket Australia had explained that traveling from Australia to South Africa at this current time would have been an unacceptable level of health and safety risk to the visiting players.

CA’s Interim CEO, Nick Hockley, had said on the matter:

“We have done everything we possibly can to make this tour happen and it’s a very difficult and challenging situation in South Africa just now and that’s what makes it even more heartbreaking that we’re not able to go. We all knew the rules going in and I think that’s what’s made this decision really, really hard. We’ve done everything we possibly can to make the tour go ahead but in the end, we had to listen to the overwhelming medical advice, so we won’t be pursuing that with the ICC, but it’s just another reason why not being able to tour is so disappointing.”

Reacting to Australia’s decision, former skipper and Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) Director of Cricket Graeme Smith expressed disappointment.

Smith said CSA had been working very hard to try and meet all of CA’s expectations.

He was quoted as saying in a CSA release:

“We are extremely disappointed by the decision of CA. CSA has been working tirelessly in recent weeks to ensure that we meet every single expectation of CA. This was set to be the longest tour in a BSE comprising a three-match Test series that was scheduled to begin with Australia’s arrival later in the month. So to be informed about the CA decision at the eleventh hour is frustrating.”

Meanwhile, South Africa went down to Pakistan by 95 runs in the Rawalpindi Test to concede the two-match series 0-2.

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