Sri Lanka Cricket CEO Ashley de Silva
- Final decision on Sri Lanka’s tour going ahead hinges on England
By Sa’adi Thawfeeq
Sri Lanka Cricket said that it was closely monitoring the situation in South Africa ahead of its national cricket team’s tour to the Rainbow Nation later this month.
Sri Lanka are due to play South Africa in two Tests forming the ICC World Test Championship at Centurion from 26-30 December and at Johannesburg from 3-7 January.
The team is due to leave for South Africa on the morning of 18 December at the end of the ongoing Lanka Premier League (LPL) taking place at Hambantota.
However a final decision whether the tour would go ahead as scheduled is pending after the recent events in South Africa where due to what appears to be breaches of the bio-secure environment the England tour now hangs in the balance.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) confirmed the postponement of the second ODI at Cape Town scheduled to take place yesterday – the third postponement in four days.
The first ODI of the series at Cape Town scheduled for 4 December was postponed after one South African player was tested positive for COVID-19 and rescheduled for 6 December at Paarl it had to be called off at short notice after two “unconfirmed” positive tests for COVID-19 were announced in the England camp.
These incidents have placed a question mark on Cricket South Africa’s capacity to host international matches during the pandemic.
“We are aware of what’s happening in South Africa and we are also keeping a close eye on it. England has not yet cancelled the tour yet,” said Sri Lanka Cricket CEO Ashley de Silva.
“We are in touch with both countries and we would take a call in another couple of days how we want to move forward. We are in touch with England because they are supposed to come to Sri Lanka next month,” he said.
“But right now we don’t want to make any comment because we have not discussed it with the Executive Committee. We will assess the situation in another day or two and we will see where the England tour of South Africa is heading. Once we assess the situation we will discuss it at the ExCo meeting,” he added.
In the event the England tour of South Africa gets cancelled what would be Sri Lanka’s stance?
“We have still not taken that call. That’s the current situation.”
De Silva said that CSA has sent SLC the health guidelines for the Sri Lanka team to follow in South Africa during the tour.
“The doctors have gone through it. But at the end of the day even in the LPL we have guidelines but the problem is how you monitor and how you implement it,” he said.