CA pulling out of SA tour is huge worry for game: Vaughan; Pietersen calls it dark time in cricket

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New Delhi, Feb 3 (PTI) Former England skippers Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen on Wednesday questioned Australia's decision to postpone their tour of South Africa and expressed doubts if they would have done the same with a powerful cricket nation like India.

Cricket Australia announced their decision to postpone the trip to South Africa, citing 'unacceptable health and safety risk' in that country because of a fresh COVID-19 outbreak.

Vaughan said it was not a good precedent set by Australia.

'The Aussies pulling out of the tour of SA is a huge worry for the game ... Would they have pulled out of a tour to India is the question ?? !!,' Vaughan wrote on his twitter handle.

The former captain said the three big cricket nations -- India, England and Australia -- should instead help the cricket boards, who are feeling the heat of the pandemic.

'It's so important in these times that the big 3 do everything they can to help out those without the financial clout ... #JustSaying,' his tweet read.

Former star batsman Pietersen, who had captained England for a brief time during his career, too slammed Australia's decision to withdraw from the tour.

'No way @CricketAus would have not played India in a Test tour. It's a really dark time in the world of cricket with CA cancelling their tour of @OfficialCSA. @englandcricket also pulled out of SA due to Covid issues, but players test positive in SL and tour goes on?!,' he tweeted. On Tuesday, Cricket South Africa (CSA) had slammed its Australian counterpart for postponing the Test tour, saying it is 'extremely' disappointing and will lead to 'serious financial loss'.

'We are extremely disappointed by the decision of CA,' CSA's director of cricket, Graeme Smith, had said in a press release on Tuesday.

'CSA has been working tirelessly in recent weeks to ensure that we meet every single expectation of CA.

'This was set to be the longest tour in a BSE (bio-safety cabinet or biological safety cabinet) comprising a three-match Test series that was scheduled to begin with Australia's arrival later in the month. So to be informed about the CA decision at the eleventh hour is frustrating.' Sports bodies across the globe have felt the financial meltdown of the COVID-19 pandemic with Cricket Australia too being forced to lay off their staff and also cut the salary of many employees.

However, the recently-concluded India's tour of Australia helped it to recover financially.

The decision to pull out of South Africa will affect Australia too as it has adversely affected their chances to make the World Test championship final. Now the outcome of the India-England series will decide who plays New Zealand in the title clash.

West Indies legend Ian Bishop too felt bad for the Proteas.

'I really feel for South African cricket,' Bishop tweeted. PTI AT AT ATK ATK