South Africa, West Indies postpone women’s, ‘A’ team tours to Caribbean

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HOVE, ENGLAND - JUNE 12: Shabnim Ismail of South Africa celebrates taking the wicket of Amy Jones of England with team mates during the ICC Women's Championship 2nd ODI match between England Women and South Africa Women at The 1st Central County Ground on June 12, 2018 in Hove, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: Shabnim Ismail of South Africa celebrates taking the wicket of Amy Jones of England with team mates during the ICC Women’s Championship 2nd ODI match between England Women and South Africa Women at The 1st Central County Ground in Hove, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Cricket South Africa (CSA) and Cricket West Indies (CWI) announced an agreement to postpone the upcoming women’s & ‘A’ team tours to the Caribbean amid health fears due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The women’s ODI series between South African and the West Indies was scheduled to be played at the end of May in Jamaica and Trinidad while the men’s A team tour due to begin in Antigua in June was cancelled.

“The five-match Women’s series was scheduled prior to the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier in July, however following South Africa’s automatic qualification (having finished third in the ICC Women’s Championship) and in response to the ICC’s announcement on Tuesday of the postponement of the Women’s Qualifier Tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CWI and CSA have agreed to postpone the tour,” a statement on the CSA website read.

The men’s tour was cancelled with both the CSA and CWI citing the uncertainty of international travel, quarantine requirements and the health and safety of both teams.

CSA acting CEO Dr. Jacques Faul said that while the current state of affairs was frustrating, the wellbeing of their players and support staff must always come first.

“Both our men’s and women’s national teams are keen to get back on the playing field as soon as possible. They want to build on their recent good results with the men achieving a 3-0 victory over Australia in their recent Momentum ODI series against Australia and our Momentum Proteas women coming so close to reaching the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final,” Faul said.

CWI CEO Johnny Grave said that the health and safety of the players and coaching staff was of the highest importance to both associations and given the existing travel restrictions it was impossible to consider both tours taking place as originally planned.

“We are continuing our discussions with CSA on the feasibility of hosting the Men’s tour later this summer and will have further discussions in due course on new dates for the Women’s and ‘A’ Team tours.”

These are the latest cricket events to be hit by the effects of the pandemic which has brought much of global sport to a standstill.

On Tuesday, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the postponement of two qualifying events, the Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier and the Under-19 Cricket World Cup Qualifier Europe Division 2.

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