New Delhi: India’s tour of South Africa might be pushed back by one week due to the threat of the COVID-19 Omicron variant. A BCCI official on Thursday confirmed to ANI that both boards are in constant touch and the decision will be taken keeping the safety of players in mind.
“We are discussing to push back the series by a week due to the threat of Omicron COVID variant and we are awaiting the Indian government nod, both boards are in constant touch and everything is being discussed. The health and safety of our players is of utmost importance,” the senior official told ANI.
India is slated to tour South Africa next month for three Tests, three ODIs and four T20Is. The tour is slated to begin on December 17.
Earlier, Anurag Thakur, the Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports had said that BCCI should consult the government before sending the cricket team to South Africa where a new COVID-19 variant has emerged.
“Not only BCCI, but every board should also consult the Indian government before sending the team to a country where a new COVID-19 variant has emerged. It is not right to send the team to a country where there is a threat, if BCCI consults us we will deliberate on that,” Thakur had told ANI here in Baghpat.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as ‘Omicron’. This came after the WHO held a meeting to discuss the newly-identified COVID-19 variant.
Meanwhile, India A players are currently in Bloemfontein for the ongoing series against South Africa A.