ENGLAND’S tour of South Africa could be in doubt because cricket is in chaos in the country.
Eoin Morgan’s squad is due to fly from the UK on Monday to play three Twenty20 matches and three 50-over internationals against the Proteas.
But officials say the latest twist in the long-running battle at the head of Cricket South Africa might place the tour at risk.
The problem is that the South African government imposed an interim management board on the organisation two weeks’ ago – which Cricket South Africa’s Members Council have so far refused to accept.
The Members Council is made up of the 14 presidents of the provincial cricketing associations and is the leading decision-making group in CSA.
Judge Zak Yacoob, the chair of the interim board, warned: “I don’t know what the thinking is in England but, if the Members Council does not take a proper decision, England will probably be seriously discouraged from coming.”
Further meetings were scheduled for Friday evening at which CSA could climb down and ratify the interim board.
It would be hugely ironic if all the Covid-19 protocols are in place – but the tour is jeopardised by administrative cock-ups.
The England and South African squads are due to stay in a bio-secure bubble at the Vineyard Hotel in Cape Town, with players permitted to leave only in order to train and play. All matches will be behind closed doors.
At the moment, England are still planning to travel on a charter flight to Cape Town on Monday as planned.
An ECB spokesperson insisted: “As far as we are concerned, it’s business as usual and, until we hear otherwise, we travel on Monday.”
South African sports minister Nathi Mthethwa is threatening to punish Cricket South Africa, with possible sanctions including removing their status as the governing body in the country.
That would mean the South African team due to face England would not be officially representing the country.
Another problems is that ICC rules prohibit government interference in the running of domestic cricket boards.
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