India and South Africa agree to play three T20Is at the end of August

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Mumbai: The sporting scenario across the world has come to a standstill due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic. So far, over 3 lakh deaths have occurred across the world due to the COVID-19 debacle. Due to the pandemic, the feasibility of all sporting events looks bleak at the moment and there is much uncertainty over the resumption of sports.

Amid these trying times, South Africa and India have agreed to play three T20Is in South Africa at the end of August if governments of both countries give the green signal. The series will not be part of the Future Tours Programme and the series was negotiated by CSA’s director of cricket Graeme Smith and BCCI president Sourav Ganguly.

The two former skippers of their respective national teams negotiated the series and finalised it via teleconference at a time when both the boards are considering ways to initiate the series. For South Africa, hosting the series would help their finances and generating series against India would yield profits at a time when the board is bracing for big losses.

“We have been talking to them and the commitment is there to get the three T20s done,” Smith said at a news conference on Thursday.

“There is an element of guesswork, no-one knows what things will be like at the end of August. But we believe we are a socially-distanced sport and that we can play behind closed doors,” he added

Although the coronavirus pandemic has not cost South African cricket heavily yet, the long term projects have been put in jeopardy and hence, the India series would be perfect for CSA to obtain a more stable financial situation.

However, there are major concerns ahead of the series as both the countries are currently under lockdown to battle COVID-19 pandemic. The infection rates are on an upward curve in both the countries at the moment. South Africa are preparing for a September peak, which would make hosting matches in August look bleak.

However, CSA’s acting CEO Jacques Faul said the BCCI expressed their willingness to tour the rainbow nation late in the summer if needs be. As long as matches are played before the end of the financial year, CSA would be able to curb some of its anticipated losses.

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