South Africa Cricket’s chief medical officer Dr Shuaib Manjra has revealed that the three-match T20 series against India could be an ideal opportunity to test out the ‘bio-bubble’ model to host matches safely. Earlier, South Africa Cricket had struck a deal with BCCI for India to tour the Proteas for a T20I series in August. Cricket South Africa may put in place a “bio-bubble” model to protect players and stakeholders from corona virus when India tour the country in August, a time when the pandemic is expected to be at its peak.In the bio-bubble or bio-secure model, a venue should have the capacity to house around 350 people – including players, broadcasters, media and other staff – either on site or very close by.The venue should have a 171-room hotel in the ground and another with 176 rooms adjacent. South Africa Cricket Chief Medical Officer Dr. Shuaib Manjra said the model is being suggested when India arrive to play three T20.
“We probably will see the peak (of Covid-19 in South Africa) in August or September in different parts of the country, so we have just got to keep looking at the models and see what happens in August,” Manjra said in a Zoom media conference on Thursday morning with the South Africa Cricket management.”Probably the three T20 games with India, if it does take place, is an ideal opportunity to create this bubble, because we don’t envisage that at that time there will be spectators around in the ground, so we can create a bio-bubble and play the games in that bio-bubble,” Manjra said.
South Africa Cricket Director of Cricket Graeme Smith said they were committed to the India tour, (but) but it would be dependent on government regulations in both countries at the time.As revealed by acting CEO Jacques Faul, the South Africa Cricket, on Thursday, struck a deal with the BCCI for the Men in Blue to tour South Africa for a T20I series in August, in order to give a financial boost for the South African board. The series was, incidentally, not originally part of the Future Tours Programme (FTP).
“We cannot cast anything in stone. We’ve also got to look at where India is going in terms Covid-19. (Our) Government is also looking at it and we have to take our directive from (them),” he added.South Africa Cricket was concerned that the Indian team arriving in South Africa would have to face two weeks each of quarantine both on arrival and departure, which would severely restrict the number of playing days available on the tour.
The three T20 game series was not on the Future Tours Programme but was negotiated with the BCCI before the lockdown to help supplement South Africa Cricket income, said South Africa Cricket acting CEO Jacques Faul.Faul said South Africa Cricket was in discussion with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee and the Minister of Sport for permission to host the series behind closed doors.