South Africa calls off Caribbean tour

Former South Africa's captain, Graeme Smith.
(Associated Press / Themba Hadebe, File)

South Africa has called off the tour of the Caribbean in September, dealing a harsh blow to Cricket West Indies (CWI) plans of hosting a major series this year.

Former Test Captain, Graeme Smith, Cricket South Africa’s director of cricket said with South Africa’s players set to be involved in the re-scheduled Indian Premier League (IPL), any window for an overseas bilateral tour would now be difficult to create.

Organizers announced recently that the lucrative IPL would now be staged in the United Arab Emirates from Sept. 19 to Nov. 8.

The period had also identified by CWI as a possible window to host South Africa in a short Test or limited overs series, at the back end of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) which runs from Aug. 18 to Sept. 10.

“West Indies has been postponed indefinitely. We are struggling to find a time with the IPL being fitted in,” Smith told a media conference adding “It looks like our players are going to be needed from the beginning of September, government-permitting, and travel permitting.”

Cricket West Indies CEO Johnny Grave.  https://twitter.com/johnnygrave

South Africa were scheduled to play two Tests and five Twenty20 Internationals from July 23 to Aug. 16 before the covid-19 pandemic halted cricket across the globe.

But with West Indies’ three-Test tour of England hailed as a success for “bio-secure” cricket, CWI had hoped to lure South Africa to the Caribbean in order to kick start its home program.

However, Chief Executive Officer, Johnny Grave had also acknowledged that any home series would have been dependent on when the CPL was played.

And with New Zealand limited-overs tour initially planned for July 8-19 also postponed, it means cash-strapped CWI is without any means of improving its ailing finances.

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