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India's tour could be used to counter COVID-19

May 21, 2020 21:49 IST

Faf du Plessis

IMAGE: CSA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Shuaib Manjra said the model is being suggested when India arrive to play three T20s. Photograph: Faf du Plessis/Twitter

Cricket South Africa may put in place a 'bio-bubble' model to protect players and stakeholders from coronavirus when India tour the country in August, a time when the pandemic is expected to be at its peak.

In the bio-bubble or bio-secure model, a venue should have the capacity to house around 350 people – including players, broadcasters, media and other staff – either on site or very close by.

 

The venue should have a 171-room hotel in the ground and another with 176 rooms adjacent.

CSA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Shuaib Manjra said the model is being suggested when India arrive to play three T20s.

"We probably will see the peak (of Covid-19 in South Africa) in August or September in different parts of the country, so we have just got to keep looking at the models and see what happens in August," Manjra said in a Zoom media conference on Thursday morning with the CSA management.

"Probably the three T20 games with India, if it does take place, is an ideal opportunity to create this bubble, because we don't envisage that at that time there will be spectators around in the ground, so we can create a bio-bubble and play the games in that bio-bubble," Manjra said.

"We cannot cast anything in stone. We've also got to look at where India is going in terms Covid-19. (Our) Government is also looking at it and we have to take our directive from (them)," he added.

CSA was concerned that the Indian team arriving in South Africa would have to face two weeks each of quarantine both on arrival and departure, which would severely restrict the number of playing days available on the tour.

The three T20 game series was not on the Future Tours Programme but was negotiated with the BCCI before the lockdown to help supplement CSA income, said CSA acting CEO Jacques Faul.

Faul said CSA was in discussion with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee and the Minister of Sport for permission to host the series behind closed doors.

CSA Director of Cricket Graeme Smith said they were committed to the India tour, (but) but it would be dependent on government regulations in both countries at the time. 

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