Australia have postponed their Test tour of South Africa in March due to health concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s cricket board announced on Tuesday.
Cricket Australia informed that the proposed three-match tour will no longer be played in February, which means Australia’s matches are done for the current World Test Championship cycle.
CA said, “Cricket Australia has today informed Cricket South Africa that it believes it has no choice but to postpone the forthcoming Qantas Tour of South Africa due to the coronavirus pandemic.”
With the tour not going ahead, it means New Zealand have qualified for the World Test Championship final scheduled for Lord’s later this summer.
Cricket Australia’s Interim CEO Nick Hockley in the statement said,
“Following extensive due diligence with medical experts, it has become clear that traveling from Australia to South Africa at this current time poses an unacceptable level of health and safety risk to our players, support staff and the community.”
“We acknowledge the significant amount of work by CSA in planning for the tour, during which we made it clear that CA was prepared to take on additional cost and effort to make the series happen.
“This decision has not been made lightly and we are extremely disappointed, especially given the importance of continuing international cricket at this time, our valued relationship with CSA, and our aspirations to compete in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship.”
This is not the first time that a series scheduled to take place in South Africa has been postponed due to safety reasons of COVID-19. After playing the three T20 International-match series, England were supposed to play 3 ODIs as well but continuous positive cases in the South African camp meant the series had to be called off.