Paceman Kagiso Rabada has compared South Africa's bio-secure environments to "luxury prisons" but says it is important they retain perspective about their privilege. 

The South Africa squad are staying in carefully controlled accommodation ahead of their Twenty20 international series against England amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

While Rabada admits it has proved challenging, he says he is constantly reminding himself of the fortunate position he and his team-mates find themselves in. 

"It can be quite tough," he told ESPNcricinfo. "You can't interact. You've basically lost your freedom. 

"It's almost like luxury prisons we are in. But we have to remind ourselves that we are fortunate.

"People have lost their jobs, people are struggling at the moment, so we must be grateful for the opportunity we have been given to make some money and to do what we love.

"And we don't get treated too badly. We stay in great hotels. We get the best food. It's like a spoilt kid not getting what they want at the candy store. It can be quite tough because you are surrounded by four walls the whole time and that can be a factor mentally.

"But just remind yourself of all the good things that are happening and once we start playing, it will take away from the desolate times."

Rabada has recently returned to South Africa after an impressive stint in the Indian Premier League, where he finished as the top wicket-taker. 

That followed a long period in his home country without playing cricket, having spent most of 2020 in some form of lockdown imposed by the South African government. 

Rabada says the break helped him reset both physically and mentally but does not expect to have similar periods off in the future. 

"The break helped to refresh the body and to take the mind off of a lot of things," he added. "But I don't know if long extended breaks will happen in future because cricket is getting more and more. 

"I'm not sure how much of it is due to a long break, but I don't think it will happen a lot in the future. I don't think we will get breaks that long unless we get Covid-20."

The three-match Twenty20 series starts in Cape Town on Friday, while the Proteas and England will also contest a three-match ODI series after competing in the shortest format.

South Africa will not take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement during their limited-overs series against England, head coach Mark Boucher has confirmed.

The Proteas will be in action for the first time since March when they host England in three Twenty20 matches and a trio of ODIs from November 27.

South Africa's elite cricketers wore Black Lives Matter armbands and took a knee prior to a 36-over charity match branded 3TeamCricket in July – the first live game in the country after the sport was placed on hold amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Flags will fly at half-mast during the opening T20 at Newlands and the second match at Boland Park to coincide with five days of national mourning for victims of COVID-19 from November 25 to 29 declared by South Africa president Cyril Ramaphosa.

Boucher said the Proteas will not take a knee versus England because they hope to aid the fight against racism through lived experience instead of such gestures.

"I have spoken to the guy [Lungi Ngidi] who was driving the whole movement within our set-up, he is pretty happy that we have done what we needed to do, in particular at that [3TC] game," said Boucher.

"There are a couple of other issues that our president has raised going forward with regards to gender-based violence and the victims of COVID. We are going to be addressing this with the team so if there is a black armband to wear, we will probably be wearing it because of the president's call.

"It's an ongoing thing for us. It's not something that we have to continue to show, it's something that you have to live. That is exactly what we are trying to doing our dressing room at the moment with a big squad.

"If the guys who brought it up are happy with it, that's great, but if they feel we have to do more, that will be a chat and they are open to express their opinions.

"Our new value system is about respect, empathy and belonging and all of those lead to an environment where guys feel free and open to talk about these hard issues.

"They've certainly got the support and respect and empathy from every other player."

Cricket South Africa confirmed on Wednesday that three members of the squad were self-isolating after a player tested positive for COVID-19 prior to entering a bio-secure environment in Cape Town.

Three members of the South Africa squad are self-isolating after one player tested positive for coronavirus ahead of the Twenty20 International series against England.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Wednesday revealed an unnamed Proteas player returned a positive COVID-19 test prior to entering a bio-secure environment in Cape Town.

He was placed in immediate isolation along with two team-mates, who were considered to have come into close contact with the player based on the risk assessment undertaken by the medical team.

The trio are asymptomatic and will be monitored by CSA's medical team as South Africa prepare for a three-match T20 series, which starts at Newlands on November 27.

A CSA statement said: "Cricket South Africa [CSA] can confirm that approximately 50 COVID-19 PCR tests were performed on players and support staff prior to entering the Bio-Safe Environment in Cape Town for their upcoming limited-overs tour against England. The testing is in line with fulfilling the organisation's obligation and commitment to its duty of care to its team and to the broader public in controlling the spread of the virus. 

"One player has returned a positive test result and two players were considered close contacts based on the risk assessment undertaken by the medical team. All three players have been placed in immediate isolation in Cape Town as part of the COVID-19 protocols. While all players are asymptomatic, CSA's medical team will monitor them to ensure their health and well-being. 

"At this stage, none of these players will be replaced for the tour, but two replacement players will be included into the squad for the purposes of the inter-squad practice matches that will be played on Saturday, 21 November 2020."

The Proteas and England will contest a three-match ODI series after competing in the shortest format.

Uncapped seamer Glenton Stuurman has been named in South Africa's white-ball squads to face England.

Stuurman, 28, was on Friday among given a first international call-up for three Twenty20 matches and as many ODIs across November and December.

Paceman Kagiso Rabada would have missed an ODI series against India that ended up being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic due to a groin injury but will face Eoin Morgan's side.

Fellow quick Junior Dala is also fit again and has been included in a 24-man squad.

The Proteas and Eoin Morgan's side start the T20 series behind closed doors at Newlands on November 27 and the first ODI will be staged on December 4.

Newly appointed convenor of selectors Victor Mpitsang said: "We're very excited to be announcing this squad.

"With the bio-secure environment where movement in and out of the squad will be limited, we had to make sure that we have all our bases covered with the 24 players.

"It also gives the team the opportunity to play some intra-squad games just to make sure that they sharpen up those white-ball skills before the series start."

 

South Africa squad:

Quinton de Kock (captain), Temba Bavuma, Junior Dala, Faf du Plessis, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Janneman Malan, David Miller,  Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lutho Sipamla, JJ Smuts, Glenton Stuurman, Pite van Biljon, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne.

World champions South Africa are set to remain in the Rugby Championship until at least 2030 despite the suggestion they could join the Six Nations. 

Speculation around the future of the Springboks in the international tournament has increased in recent months. 

Holders South Africa withdrew from this year's Rugby Championship amid complications linked to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving Australia, New Zealand and Argentina to play a three-team tournament. 

This followed South Africa's vote to withdraw domestic clubs from Super Rugby and begin talks over a move to Europe's Pro14. 

But SANZAAR, which organises both the Rugby Championship and Super Rugby, said on Wednesday all four of its nations - including South Africa - had "committed to an international rugby future through to 2030". 

The Rugby Championship will change from a six-match to 12-match structure, allowing all four teams to play each other home and away through the new mini-tour match schedule.

The move would appear to end any imminent Springboks move to link up with England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, France and Italy. 

SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux said: "We welcome the changes announced to the Rugby Championship with our SANZAAR partners and we are looking forward to seeing what the new strategic plan for the competition entails, with possible international expansion on the cards. 

"Although we had to change our domestic focus, we still have a long history with the All Blacks and Wallabies as well as a long-standing friendship with the Pumas and we look forward to more world class Test rugby. 

"Ever since the Tri-Nations was first contested in 1996, and more recently the Rugby Championship from 2012, a team from the Southern Hemisphere has won the Rugby World Cup five out of six times - which is testimony to the high quality of Test rugby played on this side of the equator."

World champions South Africa have withdrawn from the 2020 Rugby Championship in Australia, prompting the return of a Tri-Nations tournament.

The South African Rugby Union (SARU) cited factors including travel restrictions, player welfare, safety concerns and the ongoing effect of the coronavirus pandemic for pulling out.

The Springboks' absence leaves Australia, New Zealand and Argentina to challenge for this year's title.

It is a blow ahead of the tournament, and means the Tri-Nations returns eight years after Argentina joined to extend the competition to a four-team event.

SARU chief executive Jurie Roux said: "SANZAAR [the competition organisers] and Rugby Australia have bent over backwards to make the tournament happen and it would have been unfair on them and their partners and state government to delay a decision any longer.

"This is a hugely disappointing outcome for supporters and commercial partners but the ongoing impacts of the pandemic in multiple dispensations mean we are unable to deliver a Springbok team without seriously compromising player welfare, apart from other logistical challenges."

With a Tri-Nations return, six international matches will be played in Australia across six consecutive weekends.

The Tri-Nations will see each nation play each other twice, with games to be held in Sydney, Brisbane and Newcastle – starting on October 31 between the Wallabies and All Blacks at ANZ Stadium.

The first two matches involving Australia and New Zealand double up as the final two Bledisloe Cup matches.

SANZAAR chief executive Andy Marinos said: “COVID is just a gift that keeps on giving! Naturally, it is extremely disappointing that the Springboks, due to the continued complexities of operating in and around this COVID environment, cannot fully compete in the previously planned six-round Rugby Championship.

“That said, this now presents us with a unique opportunity, in this our 25th year, to close off 2020 with a Tri-Nations competition."

South Africa have been given a 48-hour deadline to decide whether they will compete in the Rugby Championship.

The Springboks are due to start the defence of their title against Argentina at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on November 7.

Rugby South Africa (RSA) last week said "several hurdles needed to be cleared" before the organisation can confirm that the world champions will feature in the four-nation competition.

Concerns have been raised over a lack of playing time for South Africa players due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tournament organisers SANZAAR on Wednesday stated that a decision must be made within two days.

A SANZAAR statement said: "The SANZAAR member unions have agreed to provide South Africa Rugby with an additional 48 hours to finalise its internal stakeholder discussions.

"This will now delay the scheduled departure of the Springboks from South Africa to Australia.

"SANZAAR will provide an update on the resolution of these discussions and a timetable for the Springboks participation in the Rugby Championship when available in the coming days."

New Zealand will not have to quarantine over Christmas after their second Rugby Championship meeting with Australia was brought forward.

The All Blacks were scheduled to face the Wallabies in Sydney to close out the six-week tournament, which was pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic, on December 12, meaning that after returning to New Zealand they would still be in a 14-day period of self-isolation on Christmas Day.

However, SANZAAR and tournament hosts Rugby Australia have rescheduled the Bledisloe Cup Test, which will now open the tournament in Sydney on October 31.

South Africa's second Test against Argentina will still be played on December 12 but has been moved from ANZ Stadium to Newcastle's McDonald Jones Stadium.

"This year has been a year of continued adjustment where the SANZAAR partners have had to compromise on a number of levels," said SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos.

"It is important to further acknowledge the sacrifice of a number of the players and team management that will have been away from home for close to six months by the time the Rugby Championship has concluded. This is again a testament to the strong values that encompass our game.

"The 12-match Rugby Championship is now all set for kick-off. The Argentina Pumas have already arrived in Australia and we all look forward to an exciting and vibrant tournament that will undoubtedly showcase the best of southern hemisphere rugby."

Rugby Australia's interim chief executive Rob Clarke added: "I'm pleased this draw is now resolved and that the SANZAAR joint venture has reached a suitable compromise.

"Each party has had to sacrifice something, and I think that is a true indication of the strength of the SANZAAR alliance."

Rugby Australia has vowed to do "everything in its power" to find a "reasonable resolution" after New Zealand Rugby (NZR) refused to rule out boycotting the Rugby Championship.

NZR on Thursday stated it had not agreed to a schedule that is due to see the All Blacks play their last match of a six-week tournament on December 12, which would leave the players in quarantine for Christmas.

Mark Robinson, the NZR chief executive, said the fixture list broke a commitment from Rugby Australia and governing body SANZAAR for the All Blacks to play their final game of the competition on December 5 - enabling them to spend the festive period with their families.

Rugby Australia interim chief executive Rob Clarke says there is ample time to reach an agreement over the scheduling and is confident the four-team competition will be a success.

Clarke said: "For absolute clarity - on two formal occasions - Rugby Australia was supportive of altering the draw so that the Rugby Championship could be played over five weeks.

"On both occasions, that proposal was rejected which means there was never an agreement to finish the tournament on Saturday 5 December 2020.

"That being said, no one wants players and team management to be away from their families and in quarantine over Christmas."

Clarke added: "Rugby Australia will do everything in its power to help assist New Zealand Rugby and the team in finding a reasonable resolution, and in urging them to exhaust every possible alternative.

"There are still more than two months to go before December 12 so we have plenty of time to find a solution.

"We will continue to work with New Zealand Rugby and support them however we can, just like we are doing with the Springboks and Argentina in assisting with their travel plans, as well as making their stay in Australia as safe and as comfortable as possible during the tournament.

"There have been a number of sacrifices made by each of the SANZAAR joint venture partners to get this far and I want to thank all of them for their flexibility and adaptability.

"There is obviously a lot to achieve in the coming months but I'm confident that under the leadership of each of the joint venture partners, that the 2020 Rugby Championship in Australia will be a great success."

New Zealand hosting the Rugby Championship this year is close to getting the green light, according to SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos.

The annual competition was initially due to get under way on August 8 and see the six rounds of home and away fixtures contested over the space of eight weeks, but the coronavirus pandemic caused it to be pushed back.

November 7 has now been slated as the start date for a six-week Rugby Championship hosted entirely in New Zealand, which Marinos revealed is near to being confirmed.

"I feel as if we're close. If numbers and infections [in New Zealand] remain at this level or start improving, then we're very optimistic," Marinos told Stuff.

"But one can't ignore the fact of what we saw in New Zealand a few weeks ago, when there was an outbreak out of nowhere and swift reaction that was taken in order to contain it.

"There is always that element of unpredictability, but my philosophy throughout this whole pandemic is you've got to control the controllables, and make sure we're doing everything we can so that when the green light is given we can turn things on.”

He added: "We certainly remain very optimistic and positive to get the Rugby Championship underway.

"We're doing everything we can within our confines, and certainly working in a very cooperative way with the New Zealand government.

"NZ Rugby have been leading a lot of those discussions. We keep plugging away."

It has been reported that reigning champions and World Cup winners South Africa, Australia and Argentina could be based together in Queenstown in the South Island, with the All Blacks travelling around the country as normal.

Marinos was unwilling to confirm whether the Rugby Championship would follow the examples in other sports by creating a bio-secure bubble for teams.

"We have explored the possibility of centralising the other teams and just bringing them in and out for the various games. But again, that is very fluid. It's just a concept that we have considered," he said.

"The biggest challenge has always been that the players are going to be in a safe environment, and there is no doubt that New Zealand and Australia are probably safer than most major centres from an outbreak perspective.

"The other thing goes to player welfare. The quarantine can be managed if there is mobility and movement, and they can prepare.

"Given the stop-start nature of the seasons so far, it is imperative that players get as much physical activity as often as possible in order for them to stand up to the rigours of six Test matches in six weeks."

South Africa international RG Snyman faces a long spell on the sidelines after Munster confirmed the Rugby World Cup-winning lock has torn his anterior-cruciate ligament.

Snyman only made his debut for the province on Saturday against Leinster and landed awkwardly having stolen a lineout in the early stages of the Pro14 fixture.

Munster have confirmed that the 25-year-old has torn his ACL and will now meet with a specialist to discuss surgery.

Snyman has won 23 caps for the Springboks and was part of the squad which won the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

Jacques Kallis, Lisa Sthalekar and Zaheer Abbas were inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame on Sunday.

Legendary South Africa all-rounder Kallis is the fourth player from his country to receive the honour, while Sthalekar is the 27th Australian and Abbas the sixth from Pakistan.

The great Kallis is the only player to score at least 10,000 runs and take at 250 wickets or more in both Test and ODI cricket.

Kallis is South Africa's leading Test run-scorer and the third-highest from any nation, while he also took 577 wickets for the Proteas in all formats during a stellar career.

"It's a great honour to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. It is something that I never expected when I started playing," said Kallis.

"I certainly did not play the game for any accolades or anything like that, I only wanted to win the games for whoever I was playing for."

Gifted all-rounder Sthalekar was a key member of the Australia side that won the Women's World Cup in 2005 and 2013, as well as the T20 World Cup in 2010 and 2012.

She topped both the ODI batting and bowling rankings and goes down as the first woman to as score 1,000 runs and take 100 wickets in ODIs

Sthalekar said: "I am deeply humbled to receive this honour. Never in my wildest dreams did I believe that I would ever get to join such an illustrious group of players."

Abbas was known as the 'Asian Bradman' due to the style in which he piled on the runs in the 1970s and 80s.

He is the only player from Asia to have scored at least 100 first-class centuries.

"I feel privileged and truly humbled to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame of the class of 2020. I am excited to be in the midst of other illustrious cricketers," said Abbas of becoming one of 93 players to join the Hall of Fame.

South Africa hooker Malcolm Marx is returning to Japan to join Top League side Kubota Spears. 

The Rugby World Cup winner took the opportunity to opt out of his contract with Super Rugby side the Lions in May after players were given the option as part of cost-cutting measures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Marx became a free agent and has decided to continue his career in the country where he lifted the Webb Ellis Cup last year.

The 26-year-old had a spell with the Shining Arcs in Japan last season after taking a six-month sabbatical following the Springboks' World Cup triumph.

Marx joins a Funabashi-based franchise coached by his compatriot Frans Ludeke.

The uncompromising Marx, who has 33 caps to his name, had to settle for a place on the bench for the World Cup final as Bongi Mbonambi got the nod to start against England.

West Indies players account for the lions share of those considered the best to ever play the game as SportsMax completed its Ultimate XI T20 team ahead of the start of the Hero Caribbean Premier League on Tuesday.

A combination of a panel of experts, the SportsMax Zone, and fans who voted online called fanalysts completed voting on the SportsMax Ultimate XI team with a final discussion on three impact players.

The final six players from which the three were chosen were West Indians

Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, and Andre Russell, Australian Shane Watson, Pakistani Shahid Afridi, and Indian Yuvraj Singh.

The panel, made up of cricket commentator and broadcast journalist, Fazeer Mohammed, cricket umpire Chris Taylor, and statistician, Zaheer Clarke, picked an all-West Indian cast as their impact players, in complete agreement with the SportsMax Zone and Fanalysts.

There was one dissenting voice among the panellists with Fazeer deciding on Shane Watson over Kieron Pollard, however, Clarke and Taylor’s votes were enough to overrule him.

With all parties, the Zone, the panel, and fanalysts in agreement, the final list of the greatest T20 team of all time is complete.

The openers are Chris Gayle and David warner, the middle-order, batsmen 3-5 are Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the bowlers are Sunil Narine, Rashid Khan and Lasith Malinga, while the impact players are Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Powell and Andre Russell.

The Ultimate XI T20 team is made up of five West Indians in Gayle, Narine, Bravo, Pollard, and Russell, while Kohli and Dhoni make up the Indian contingent. Then there is the South African representation in de Villiers, one Australian in Warner, a Sri Lankan in Malinga, and the Afghan Rashid.

Chris Nenzani has resigned as Cricket South Africa (CSA) president, bringing a premature end to his seven-year tenure.

Nenzani's latest term – extended by a year in 2019 – had been set to end at the start of September.

However, he quit on Saturday, reportedly just hours after CSA chief operating officer Naasei Appiah was sacked, with confirmation following on Monday.

The CSA will not rush to appoint a replacement, however, leaving the role vacant until the end of the term.

"A new president and chairman will be appointed at the annual general meeting on September 5," a short statement read.

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