The Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture recently approved cricket’s resumption along with six other non-contact sports.
JOHANNESBURG – Cricket SA may yet go ahead with it’s charity three team special in the next few weeks after getting government approval to resume playing and training on Friday evening.
The Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture approved cricket’s resumption along with six other non-contact sports including tennis, swimming, rock climbing, angling, canoeing and gymnastics.
“These Sport bodies have submitted their plans, indicating their state of readiness and their commitment to adhere to stringent health protocols that they will implement in accordance with the prescribed regulations and directions,” read a statement from the ministry. “The sport bodies are urged to take note of and implement the comments from the Health authorities, as applies to each of them.”
Cricket SA were embarrassed last week when the organisation was admonished by Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa after announcing plans for the 3 Team Cricket competition – a newly formatted version of the game featuring three teams, playing over 36 overs in two halves – without having gotten approval from the government. Cricket SA’s Graeme Smith had said, when the competition was announced that “everything had been approved.”
Beyond the 3TC event however – which may be moved from Centurion, which the government has declared a ‘hotspot’ for the coronavirus, to Potchefstroom – Cricket SA will also be keen to get the national players back training again. The federation’s medical experts have stated that the players will need six weeks of training to properly prepare to resume play. As it stands, the Proteas series against the West Indies – featuring two Tests and five T20 Internationals – is still on the cards.
“The path has been paved for our players to make a safe return to training particularly through the efforts of our medical team led by Dr Shuaib Manjra (CSA’s Chief Medical Officer),” said CSA’s acting CEO, Dr. Jacques Faul.
“From here on we will do everything in our power to ensure that we adhere to all regulations that have been put in place by the Department of Sport and Recreation for the safe of return of professional cricket.”
At the end of the 2019/20 season, Proteas’ head coach Mark Boucher had planned a training camp, something which could presumably happen, now that the government has granted Cricket SA approval for training to resume.
Cricket SA have been weighing up various options for playing that series including going to the Caribbean and playing on just one island, to hosting the series here in a ‘bio bubble,’ and even going to England – where the West Indies are currently touring – to face them there. Again, should that occur it would happen in a ‘bio bubble.’
The West Indies and England will face each other in three Tests – the first of which is due to start on July 8 – under very strict conditions. Both teams have spent the past few weeks preparing in a ‘bio bubble’ playing and training at venues where the ground and hotel are within walking distance of each other. The three Tests will be played at Southampton and Manchester, both stadiums with hotels on sight.