Cricket South Africa (CSA) has assured the BCCI that India will be allowed to leave the country in case the Covid situation due to a new Omicron variant worsens during the tour. India are scheduled face South Africa in three Tests and as many ODIs starting with the first Test from December 26.
After a win in the series against New Zealand at home, India are scheduled to play South Africa in three away Tests and as many ODIs from December 26. Virat Kohli will lead the red-ball squad while Rohit will captain the white-ball team. However, there are some concerns regarding the series as there is emergence of a new Covid-19 variant named Omicron, which has largely been a cause of concern in the country.
Cricket South Africa(CSA) has now assured BCCI for the permission they require for their exception to leave the country should the need arise.
CSA’s chief medical officer Dr. Shuaib Manjra confirmed that in case the borders are closed, the government has guaranteed that they will allow the players to go back to India.
"If there needs to be repatriation and the borders are closed, the government has given a guarantee that they will allow the players and the team to go back to India,” Manjra told News 24.
“I think we’ve taken whatever measures we can to ensure that the Indian team is not only safe here, but should they need to leave for whatever reason, that the path is open for them to leave at any point that they wish.”
CSA has booked the entire Irene Country Lodge for team India, where the players and the members in team management are regularly tested. Also, according to the rules set in place, no outside visitor is allowed into hotel premises. A BCCI official informed that they are in regular touch with CSA officials and the team management and are keeping watch on updates.
“We are regularly in touch with CSA officials & the Indian team management in South-Africa. Team is having very comfortable stay. As now the series is behind closed doors – any threat further gets diminished. CSA also has assured in case of anything untoward, Indian team will be immediately given permissions to fly out,” said the official.
If a player is found to be tested positive, he will be allowed to complete his isolation period within the bio-bubble. Also, close contacts may participate in the series without isolation. Manjara informed that the CSA have arranged hospital beds in case a player requires hospitalization.
"In case an Indian player needs to be hospitalized for whatever reason, we’ve approached some of the hospital groups who’ve guaranteed us beds in hospitals,” said Manjra.
The first of three Tests will be played in Centurion, beginning December 26.