The Indian cricket team’s tour of South Africa will get underway with the first Test from December 26 and with the cloud of Covid-19 variant Omicron looming large, the tourists have been guaranteed a return passage to home should the need arise if borders are closed to prevent to control the spread of infection.
The series was under threat when the latest variant was first discovered in South Africa. However, a curtailed tour that saw T20Is being culled from the original schedule and stern covid prevention measures ensured it was saved.
Among the several guarantees given to the BCCI by Cricket South Africa (CSA) includes beds in hospital if Indian players need to be admitted for any reasons.
“In case an Indian player needs to be hospitalised for whatever reason, we’ve approached some of the hospital groups who’ve guaranteed us beds in hospitals,” said CSA chief medical officer Shuaib Manjra was quoted as saying by news24.com.
“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,” he added.
The entire tour will be played behind closed doors with Indian players not allowed no contact with the general public.
Manjra said CSA has done everything to ensure the safety of the visitors and also left the ‘path open’ should they want to leave at any point.
“One thing we can’t control is how the Indian government deals with it. We’ve got DIRCO [Department of International Relations and Cooperation] talking to the Indian government but, as CSA, we don’t have control over that in terms of what the rules and regulations are when the players go back,” Manjra said.
“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,” he added.
India will play three Tests and as many ODIs during their stay in South Africa.
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