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Omicron: 'BCCI should consult govt before sending team to SA'

November 27, 2021 16:17 IST
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IMAGE: India is slated to tour South Africa next month for three Tests, three ODIs and four T20Is, starting on December 17 across four venues -- Johannesburg, Centurion, Paarl, and Cape Town. Photograph: BCCI

Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur said the Board of Control for Cricket in India should consult the government before sending the cricket team to South Africa, where a new COVID-19 variant is causing havoc.

 

The new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, first detected from South Africa, was on Friday designated as a 'Variant of Concern' by the World Health Organisation, which named it 'Omicron'.

"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 said on Saturday.

India is slated to tour South Africa next month for three Tests, three ODIs and four T20Is, starting on December 17 across four venues -- Johannesburg, Centurion, Paarl, and Cape Town.

The cases are on the rise in the northern part of the country and at least two venues for the Test series -- Johannesburg and Pretoria (near Centurion) -- could become vulnerable to the spread of the new variant.

Scientists believe that the high number of spike mutations could make the new variant more resistant to vaccines, make it more transmissible and cause an increase in the severity of COVID-19 symptoms.

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