Cricket South Africa (CSA) has left no stone unturned in ensuring the safety of the Indian cricketers and support staff during the much-anticipated Test and ODI series, scheduled to be commencing on December 26. With plenty riding on the series, CSA has made sure of planning for every possible thing that can lead to the tour getting called off midway as the new Covid variant, Omicron that was discovered in the region.
India traveled to Johannesburg from Mumbai in a chartered plane and they are staying at the African Pride Irene Country Lodge. Not only has South Africa given up on their preferred accommodation, but CSA has also said that the Indian cricketers will have no contact with the public whenever they travel from their hotel to the grounds for training, as per the reports of News24. They will also take a chartered plane to Cape Town for the 3rd Test, which will be taken from January 11.
Cricket South Africa also barred spectators from attending the 3-match Test and the 3-match ODI series as the board has decided not to sell tickets due to the Omicron scare. As it turns out, CSA has managed to create an environment with the South African government to make sure that Team India manages to focus on cricket without having to feel anxious about the developing Covid situation.
India has been assured of no-obligation exit from South Africa in case the boundaries of the country get close due to a rise in cases. Meanwhile, CSA has also assured hospital beds for the Indian contingent in case of an emergency during the series, the news report added.
Explaining the same, CSA’s chief medical officer, Dr. Shuaib Manjra, who had earlier offered booster vaccine shots for India players, said, “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. 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.”
Meanwhile, CSA chief medical officer also confirmed that CSA has got the green light from the South African government for the no-obligation return but that he is not sure how the Indian government will be responding to such a situation.
The Indian contingent served a day in quarantine after their arrival in Johannesburg. They began training at their hotel before beginning practice sessions in Centurion. India and South Africa will meet in the first Test, starting December 26 at the SuperSport Park in Centurion.