Tue, 02 Jun 2020

Johannesburg [South Africa], May 21 (ANI): The Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Thursday outlined plans to get the game moving again in dealing with the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented and announced to create a 'Support Fund' to help those in distress and also shared ongoing plans for the Proteas to host India in the coming months.

In a tele-press conference that featured CSA's Acting Chief Executive, Dr Jacques Faul, Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith, and Chief Medical Officer, Dr Shuaib Manjra, as well as South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) CEO, Andrew Breetzke, some of the strategies to help kickstart the sport again in the country were revealed.

"The board approved a four-pillar strategy on May 15 and that gives effect to a few things. The first one is that we will have a support fund, which we will be rolling out. It's a fund that will provide support to people within the cricket industry and also to the most vulnerable South Africans. We have to use our voice as cricket and also co-ordinate the efforts of some of our players that are already involved in this work," Faul said.

"Then we will continue to engage with our stakeholders, and I want to thank Andrew for sharing this telecon with us. We are continuing to engage the major role players and that includes SACA. I want to thank them for the amount of work they are doing towards the duty of care towards the players during the lockdown and their efforts at the time of this ongoing crisis," he added.

SACA's Chief Executive, Breetzke, said, "We're at a crucial juncture where the future of the game is at stake, so it's important that SACA works with CSA in the best interests of the game and that goes for all the stakeholders. So, this is what we are doing at the moment."The CSA is planning to host India for three-match T20Is in August or later this year. The board is also thinking of touring England in a bio-secure environment.

"We had a telecon with India yesterday (Wednesday) and we are encouraged by their willingness to honour their agreement to play the three T20s in August, and if it's postponed then maybe a bit later. I would also like to thank the ECB for engaging with us to make sure we follow the right protocols should we play in a bio-secure environment," Faul said.Graeme Smith, meanwhile, confirmed that the India tour was not the only one they were working on.

"We're engaging with the West Indies Cricket Board regarding tours that have been postponed and the FTP. We're trying to find opportunities post their (West Indies) tour to England to see how we can fit that series in, whether it is a neutral ground or wherever we are permitted to play. We'll have to see where we sit towards August and what the restrictions are on international cricket," he said. (ANI)

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