Capetown: South Africa’s Director of Cricket Graeme Smith has thanked the Indian players and BCCI for showing faith in the hosts’ ability to successfully stage matches amid the COVID-19 pandemic, saying their exemplary commitment has ”set the example” for others to follow.
The BCCI had decided to go ahead with the highly-anticipated tour of South Africa despite growing concern about the spread of the new COVID-19 variant — Omicron, which was first reported in the Rainbow Nation.
India and South Africa played out a successful tour, including three Tests and as many ODIs, that concluded on Sunday.
“Big thank you @BCCI @JayShah @SGanguly99 and the Indian players and management for the faith you showed in SA cricket’s ability to pull off a safe and successful tour. Your commitment at an uncertain time has set the example that a lot can follow,” Smith tweeted.
The former skipper’s tweet also seems to be directed towards the Australian and England boards.
Australia had postponed a three-match Test tour of South Africa due to an ”unacceptable” coronavirus risk last year, following which Smith had expressed disappointment at CA’s decision.
England, on the other hand, had returned home mid-way during the limited-overs series in South Africa after a COVID-19 outbreak in a bio-bubble arrangement in South Africa in December 2020.
The Proteas won both the series — Test and ODI– against India which aided the South African team’s resurgence and the broadcast rights money from this tour is also likely to make CSA healthy again.
Ahead of India’s tour, South Africa’s discovery of the Omicron variant had caused much trepidation as cases soared in the country.
The Netherlands tour of the Rainbow Nation was abandoned while CSA also had to postpone its domestic fixtures.