South Africa calls off all cricket over virus spread

By: AFP      Published: 10:13 PM, 16 Mar, 2020
South Africa calls off all cricket over virus spread
South Africa's cricket player Faf du Plessis wearing a facemask amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, arrives at a hotel in Kolkata. AFP

Cricket South Africa announced on Monday that all cricket activities had been called off for the next 60 days following the declaration of a state of disaster in the country because of the coronavirus situation.

The announcement came less than four weeks before the scheduled end of the season. Two of the country's main domestic competitions remained incomplete. The franchise one-day cup had reached the semi-final stage, while two rounds remained in the four-day franchise competition.

A scheduled tour by the Australian women's team had already been called off and an Over-50 men's World Cup tournament ended abruptly midway through the third round of fixtures on Sunday. The South African men's team were on their way home from India after the cancellation of the remaining two matches of a one-day series. A planned arrival media conference on Wednesday was cancelled.

Cricket South Africa held a meeting on Monday following the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday of a state of a disaster during which he announced a raft of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, including a ban on gatherings of more than 100 people.

Jacques Faul, acting chief executive, said: "We at CSA take this pronouncement by the President and the cabinet very seriously and we will most certainly use our leverage to ensure that we minimise the impact of the virus in our spaces."