South Africa rules out Caribbean series
Cricket South Africa confirmed yesterday that its team would not tour the Caribbean in September as hoped, dealing a harsh blow to Cricket West Indies’ plans of hosting a major series this year.
Former Test captain Graeme Smith, CSA’s director of cricket, said with South Africa’s players set to be involved in the rescheduled Indian Premier League, any window for an overseas bilateral tour would now be difficult to create.
Organisers announced recently that the lucrative IPL would now be staged in the United Arab Emirates from between September 19 and November 8.
The period had been also identified by CWI as a possible window to host South Africa in a short Test or limited overs series, at the back end of the Caribbean Premier League, which runs from August 18 to September 10.
“West Indies has been postponed indefinitely. We are struggling to find a time with the IPL being fitted in,” Smith said told a media conference.
“It looks like our players are going to be needed from the beginning of September, government-permitting, and travel permitting.
South Africa were scheduled to play two Tests and five Twenty20 Internationals from July 23 to August 16 before the COVID-19 pandemic halted cricket across the globe.
But with West Indies’ three-Test tour of England hailed as a success for “bio-secure” cricket, CWI had hoped to lure South Africa to the Caribbean in order to kick-start its home programme.
However, chief executive Johnny Grave had also acknowledged that any home series would have been dependent on when the IPL was played.