Cricket SA jumped the gun with return-to-play plan

Cricket South Africa chief executive Jacques Faul. Picture: Gallo Images

According to reports, seven CSA and franchise staffers have tested positive for coronavirus.

Cricket South Africa chief executive Jacques Faul has admitted the organisation was “a bit naïve and ambitious” to think the sport would be let out of its Covid-19 lockdown cell as early as this weekend, following the postponement of the Solidarity Cup.

The new format of the game, devised by 3TCricket, and a return to onfield action were launched amid much fanfare last week, with SuperSport Park in Centurion set to stage the contest involving three teams playing a 36-over match on Saturday.

But CSA were forced to backtrack at the weekend as government said the federation had not yet approved its plans, despite director of cricket Graeme Smith saying SuperSport Park had been “cleared” and “permits were in place” for the event to take place.

“We were a bit naïve and ambitious with the date because it did not leave us with a lot of time to work through all the protocols,” Faul said on Monday.

“Because SuperSport Park is in a hotspot, we now need the department of health’s approval too. But we will take it on the chin and plan better. We really want to seek the correct procedure and it’s not something we can just push through.”

CSA expects to be able to announce a new date for the Solidarity Cup in a few weeks.

As part of their efforts to convince the sports ministry they had measures in place to ensure a safe return to cricket, CSA conducted more than 100 Covid-19 tests on their staff and those of the franchises, including players.

According to Sport24, seven of those tests had returned positive results.

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