South Africa’s Test and T20 series in the Caribbean has all but been shelved for this year.
Yesterday, South Africa’s director of cricket Graeme Smith said he did not expect the national team to be back in action until November at the earliest and confirmed the scheduled tour of the West Indies has been postponed indefinitely.
“The West Indies tour has been postponed indefinitely,” he told reporters yesterday. “We are struggling to find the time with the Indian Premier League, when our players are likely to be needed from the beginning of September.
“In terms of when we will get back onto the field, we are probably looking at November onwards. And if all goes well, it will then be a very busy period for South African cricket, playing series at times when we don’t usually play.
“It will be a case of trying to cram in all the tours that have been missed.”
However, Cricket West Indies chief executive Johnny Grave was not prepared to be so conclusive yet.
He confirmed that CWI had not yet received official communication from Cricket South Africa that he tour was off this year but told the Sunday Express:”Graeme Smith is correct that if IPL starts on the 19th (September) their tour here will have to be postponed.”
The Indian Premier League is currently awaiting permission from the Indian government to stage its tournament in the United Arab Emirates next month.
And Grave added: “Just waiting on final confirmation from the BCCI that the IPL will start of the 19th September. If it does start then, we can’t host South Africa after the CPL, so will have to postpone to 2021.”
CWI had been hoping that the already delayed tour by South Africa’s senior men’s team would take place with them playing either two Tests or five T20 internationals.
South Africa cut short a One-Day International series in India in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and have also been forced to postpone a tour to Sri Lanka.
Smith said the lack of cricket is a financial time bomb for the country, who have also lost their major sponsor in the last few months.
“Financially we are in a lot of trouble. We need to get our broadcast rights in, support from corporate sponsorship and get the right content (series) in place.”
South Africa are scheduled to play Test matches against Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia between January and March next year.