Hours after cancelling T20 Mzansi Super League over COVID-19 fears, Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Monday announced that the high-profile cricket series against India will be played behind closed doors "to protect the players and the tour". (More Cricket News)
Indian cricketers are already in South Africa, where the Omicron variant emerged last month. The country has seen a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, which is attributed to Omicron. The two teams are scheduled to play three Tests and three ODIs. The first Test at Centurion starts on December 26.
"Owing to the increasing COVID cases around the world, and the fourth wave locally, the two cricketing bodies have taken a joint decision to protect the players and the tour by NOT making tickets available for the India vs Proteas offerings," said CSA in a statement.
Tickets for the upcoming #SAvIND tour will not be made available after both cricket bodies took a joint decision to protect the players and the tour ðÂÂÂÂ¢
The matches will be broadcast live on SuperSport and SABC ðÂÂÂÂºDecember 20, 2021
The South Africa vs India cricket series is taking place amid the rising threat of COVID-19. India's tour of South Africa itself was earlier in serious doubt. But the two boards - CSA and BCCI -- agreed to go ahead with it.
"This decision was taken in order to avoid any breaches that could compromise the tour from a Covid-risk perspective and to also maintain a hazard-free bubble environment," the statement added.
Elsewhere, Tottenham have been forced to forfeit a UEFA Europa Conference League game that can't be rescheduled following a bout of COVID-19 cases at the club, eliminating the team from the competition.
Spurs are one of the many Premier League sides hit by the fresh wave of coronavirus with only four games — Leeds vs Arsenal on Saturday and Newcastle vs Manchester City, Wolverhampton vs Chelsea and Tottenham vs Liverpool on Sunday going ahead in the heavily disturbed weekend.
As many as ten matches in England's top-flight football league have been postponed last week, as compared to six games called off in the whole of last season because of the coronavirus.
But the Premier League on Monday decided to fulfil the crowded festive fixtures.