02 Feb 2021: Australia pull out of South Africa tour with COVID-19 scare
In a huge development, Australia have pulled out of their scheduled South African tour due to COVID-19 outburst.
Cricket Australia, on Tuesday, announced they have "no choice", but to postpone the Test series.
Reportedly, they informed their South African counterparts about the same.
Australia were due to tour South Africa in March for a three-match Test series.
Here is more.
Fact: CA informed about the development on Twitter
"Today we informed Cricket South Africa that we believe we have no choice but to postpone the forthcoming Qantas Tour of South Africa due to the coronavirus pandemic," Cricket Australia wrote on Twitter.
Reason : Why did Australia pull out of the tour?
It is understood that Australia have opted out of the tour due to "public health situation in South Africa, which includes a second wave and a new variant of the virus".
An official statement from CA's interim CEO Nick Hockley read, "It has become clear that travelling from Australia to SA at this current time poses an unacceptable level of health and safety risk."
Fact: Here is the full official statement
Fact: South Africa recently hosted Sri Lanka for two Tests
It is interesting to note that Sri Lanka recently played a two-Test series in South Africa, where they lost 0-2. Furthermore, the Pakistan women's team is currently in the nation, featuring in a full-fledged limited-overs series.
WTC: A loss for Australia with respect to ICC WTC
Australia's three-match Test series in South Africa was a part of the ICC World Test Championship.
This would have been the final Test assignment for Australia, who presently hold the third spot on the points table.
With the postponement, their hopes of qualifying for the final have nearly ended.
New Zealand, who are second on the standings will finish ahead of them.
Scenario: New Zealand officially qualify for the ICC WTC final
The news of tour's postponement brings elation to the Kiwis camp.
New Zealand have officially become the first team to qualify for the ICC World Test Championship final, which is set to take place at the Lord's Cricket Ground in June.
Meanwhile, both India and England, who are set to compete in the four-Test series, remain in contention to be the second finalists.