Fri, 25 Sep 2020

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has been "encouraged" by the BCCI's continued "willingness" to fulfil a three-match T20 series later this year, an event considered potentially vital for kickstarting both governing bodies' economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

While the fixtures are currently earmarked for August, the unpredictable nature of the virus means nothing is cast in stone.

"India wants to honour its agreement. If it's postponed, maybe a bit later," Jacques Faul, CSA's acting chief executive, told a virtual media briefing on Thursday.

"We've had a very good discussion with them."

Graeme Smith, the federation's director of cricket, reiterated the fruitful engagement between the two countries and also confirmed earlier reports that South Africa are committed to touring the West Indies, a trip that was initially scheduled for mid-July.

"We've spoken to the West Indies Cricket Board too regarding tour programmes. We're also working with them to try and find an opportunity post their tour to England to fit that series in, whether it's at a neutral ground, in SA or the Caribbean," he said.

"We'll have to see what restrictions on international travel is. From my perspective, having engaged with various stakeholders, leadership in our game is going to be crucial. We're keen to play as quickly as possible. We pride ourselves on being a socially distanced sport."

However, before any advanced negotiations can remotely take place, CSA will have to seek permission from government, a process already under way.

"We're seeking via Sascoc an audience with the sports minister to be given approval to, if needed, play behind closed doors. This will relate specifically to the potential of an incoming Indian tour," said Faul.

"We're going to be very innovative because it's an important tour for us. As I've stated before, we're very encouraged by India's willingness."

CSA has commenced with a knowledge-sharing agreement with the England and Wales Cricket Board, who are currently in a suspended start to their new domestic season, in terms of implementing structures that mitigate the risk of the virus.

"Both Tom Harrison and Steve Elworthy have engaged with us, helping us ensure that we follow the right protocols in a bio-secure environment. A lot of exceptional work has been done in that regard by our Covid-19 committee too," said Faul.

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