CSA Chairman Slams England for Calling Off South Africa Tour
Zak Yacoob, the interim board chairman of Cricket South Africa, has accused the England squad of harbouring a negative attitude after they called off the tour of South Africa midway, following the outbreak of Covid-19 cases in both camps.
Two England Players Tested Positive for Covid-19
Two members of the England squad had tested positive for Covid-19 before the England camp decided to call off the tour on 7 December and return home. The teams were scheduled to play six white-ball games in all, consisting of three T20Is and three ODIs. After the T20I series had been completed, the three ODIs were postponed. England called the Covid-19 protocols of CSA into question. But Yacoob would have none of it. Speaking to media outlets in a virtual conference on 10 December, the CSA Board chairman said that he denied the idea that CSA’s provision of services was not up to the mark. He added that the England camp was not justified in their not wanting to participate.
CSA Not at Fault, Says Chairman
Yacoob insisted that England’s troubles probably arose from psychological apprehensions, suggesting that the incidence of false-positive tests in some of the Covid-19 tests done on England players may have caused them to be nervous which led eventually to a negative attitude. While not wishing to point a blaming finger at England, Yacoob stated with conviction that the notion that CSA was at fault was wrong. The problems arose after seven players from both sides were reported to have tested positive for Covid-19 in addition to two staff members at Cape Town’s Vineyard hotel where the two sides were housed in a bio-secure environment.
“Bias Towards Third World Real Reason for England Decision”
The sides completed the three-match T20I series that England won 3-0. But the positive tests that emerged caused the planned ODI series to be postponed several times. The England camp finally decided to call off the tour temporarily and take a chartered flight home. Yacoob suggested that the decision of the England camp to call off the tour may have been the result of a bias towards Third World countries feeding on the narrative that they couldn’t manage the pandemic properly. The chairman insisted that South Africa had been managing the virus a lot better than England had done.
“CSA Too Lenient with England Squad”
He pointed out that the England delegation had not adhered strictly to the Covid-19 protocols when housed in the bio-bubble. He said that CSA had been a little too lenient with the tourists and had ignored their desire to act in ways that were not compliant with the protocols. He said that CSA had been much stricter in dealing with their own players’ actions in the bio-bubble which had in fact given rise to “feelings of unfairness” among players in the South Africa camp. It was a matter of great regret for the CSA Board, Yacoob said. The chairman concluded by saying that it was understandable that people could get put off by a virus that the world had got for the first time and there was reason to give people the benefit of the doubt. He said that he did not expect an apology from the ECB. “I don’t think we want an apology from anyone, but if they tell lies about us, we will defend ourselves. I’m prepared to leave it on the basis that we do understand, although it is sometimes difficult for us to understand, the sensitivities of the matter.”
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