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'Player safety is Paramount': BCCI Treasurer Arun Dhumal Opens Up on India's South Africa Tour

CSA, BCCI in Touch Ahead of Next Month's Series

CSA, BCCI in Touch Ahead of Next Month's Series

The WHO on Saturday named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as ‘Omicron’.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has been dealing with a tough situation at the moment following the classification of a new Covid-19 variant in the country. As soon as the World Health Organisation on Friday sounded an alarm over the issue, the sporting events across the nation is heading towards cancellation.

The Netherlands tour of South Africa was deferred on Saturday has been postponed and now, question looms over Team India’s upcoming tour to the rainbow nation.

Meanwhile, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) treasurer Arun Dhumal on Saturday said that the board is in regular touch with CSA regarding the upcoming bilateral series and how player safety needs to be ensured.

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“There is nothing to say as of now. Both boards are regularly in touch. Player safety and their health is paramount for both boards. We are monitoring the situation closely, as soon as both teams feel there is anything that needs to be done, they will take a call,” Dhumal was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

“See, keeping in mind the health and safety of the players, whatever needs to be done will be done. Whether crowds are allowed or not, that is secondary. First priority is for the games to happen,” he added.

India is scheduled to tour South Africa next month for 3 Tests and as many ODIs, followed by four T20Is. The tour is slated to begin on December 17.

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Earlier, Anurag Thakur, the union minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, 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 said.

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first published:November 27, 2021, 22:09 IST