Cricket West Indies chief Johnny Grave believes the West Indies can host the Proteas in a truncated tour between the scheduled end of the Caribbean Premier League on September 10 and start of the IPL on September 19 in the United Arab Emirates.
The Proteas could tour the West Indies in September, pending the players’ IPL commitments and government approval.
South Africa were originally due to play two Tests and five T20 internationals from July 23-August 16 in the Caribbean, but the tour had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The West Indies are currently playing England in the third and final Test in a bio-secure environment in Manchester.
However, Cricket West Indies chief Johnny Grave believes the Windies can host the Proteas in a truncated tour between the scheduled end of the Caribbean Premier League on September 10 and start of the IPL on September 19 in the United Arab Emirates.
“We very much hope that South Africa will be able to come here in September for either a T20-only tour or a Test-only tour at the very least,” Grave told Starcom Radio’s Mason and Guests cricket show.
“It will be dependent on the IPL. South Africa have a number of their Test players who have IPL contracts, whereas in this current Test team we don’t have any IPL players.
“We won’t be able to play Test cricket against South Africa during the IPL, Cricket South Africa have made that very clear to us. They’ve got a commitment to their players to allow them to go and play in the IPL.”
The major stumbling block may, however, not be the players’ participation in the IPL, but rather whether special government arrangements can be made for the current lockdown on international flights to be lifted. SA is one of the most affected Covid-19 countries in the world, with it currently ranking fifth on the global list of infections.
It will be interesting to note in the coming days whether Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Rilee Rossouw, Anrich Nortjé and Colin Ingram will be able to leave SA for the start of the CPL on 18 August in Trinidad and Tobago, although at this stage it seems highly unlikely.
Equally, despite CSA’s willingness to grant the ‘No Objection Certificates’ for their players to participate in the IPL, this too remains dependent on the government giving the green light.
“Cricket South Africa will definitely provide players with the NOCs for the Indian Premier League, but logistics are not something in our hands,” said CSA’s media manager Koketso Gaofetoge.
CSA have taken small steps in their bid to get professional cricket going in SA again.
Last week they staged the unique 3 Team Cricket event at Centurion which was the first cricket of any form played in SA since Covid-19 brought a halt to proceedings in March.
A Proteas women’s training camp is also scheduled to start today at the High-Performance Centre in Pretoria, although it suffered a blow when three unidentified people tested positive for Covid-19 requiring them to self-isolate for a period of 10 days.