Cricket South Africa (CSA) has confirmed the return of all forms of amateur cricket has been delayed until 1 February 2021.
COVID-19 surge blocks the resumption of amateur cricket
CSA had originally plotted a return to play roadmap for provincial cricket, clubs, schools and KFC Mini-Cricket commencing in the first week of January but due to the current national level 3 lockdown amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, no amateur cricket will be possible during the month of January according to a statement issued by the governing body.
The postponement effects elite amateur cricket as well as school and club matches.
The Senior Provincial Men’s season had been due to get underway tomorrow with the start of the 3-Day Provincial Cup with five matches scheduled across the country. The teams would have then gone on to compete in the opening round of the CSA Provincial One-Day Cup on Sunday, 10 January.
The decision deals a big blow to the women’s game which is dependant upon the amateur structures to sustain the Proteas, with elite provincial competitions still being conducted as amateur events.
A blow to the women’s game
A bumper weekend of cricket was in store for the Provincial Women’s teams, with both the 50-over and T20 competitions earmarked for Saturday, 09 January and Sunday, 10 January respectively, but that is now on ice.
Following the success of the recent Women’s T20 Super League, which was held in December in Cape Town, provincial teams had their sights set on building on that momentum in the CSA Women’s Provincial T20 tournament. Instead, they will continue to practice at their training grounds.
“Cricket South Africa and its Members are exercising their duty of care by adjusting the initial timeframe for the resumption of the game at this level,” Acting Head of Cricket Pathways Edward Khoza said.
“While we appreciate the eagerness of our buddying cricketers to play, we are unfortunately constraint by the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic that is currently gripping the country, from which cricket is not sparred.
“In an effort to make up for the time lost to amateur cricket, CSA is considering the possibility of extending the playing window to the end of May 2021. Further, Senior Provincial Men and Women will be prioritised as we explore the option of having tournaments played within bio-secure environments,” concluded Khoza.
CSA advised that revised tournament schedules will be announced at a later stage.