England tour of South Africa called off due to coronavirus cases

By Sports Desk December 07, 2020

England's ODI tour of South Africa has been called off due to concerns around coronavirus.

The opening match of the three-game series last Friday was postponed after a positive test for COVID-19 was returned in the hosts' camp.

Two "unconfirmed" positives within the England party saw the rescheduled match in Paarl cancelled just 30 minutes before its scheduled start time on Sunday.

The second ODI in Cape Town was later postponed as a precaution while players and team management went into self-isolation in their hotel rooms.

It had been hoped that back-to-back ODIs could be played at Newlands in Cape Town on Tuesday and Wednesday before the tourists returned to England on Thursday.

However, on Monday, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed the tour was off "to ensure mental and physical health and welfare of players from both teams".

ECB CEO Tom Harrison said: "We have always maintained that the welfare of our players and management is paramount.

"We were concerned about the potential impact that recent developments might have on the wellbeing of the touring party, and so after consultation with Cricket South Africa [CSA], we have jointly made the decision to postpone the remaining matches in this series, in the best interest of the players' welfare.

"I would like to thank Cricket South Africa for their support and understanding on this matter and look forward to working with them to identify a time when we can return to play these fixtures in the future."

CSA acting CEO Kugandrie Govender said: "The concern over the mental health impact of recent events on all involved is not one that we as CSA or the ECB take lightly, and the decision to postpone the tour is the most responsible and reasonable course of action for us.

"I would like to thank the ECB for the continued positive relations, and we look forward to hosting the England men's team in the near future."

England won the three-match Twenty20 series between the sides 3-0.

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