Netherlands tour of South Africa in jeopardy due to new COVID-19 variant emergence

Netherlands tour of South Africa in jeopardy due to new COVID-19 variant emergence

The UK is set to impose a ban on non-residents from entry from noon on Friday, November 26.

South Africa cricket
South Africa cricket. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

The emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa has put Netherlands’ tour of South Africa under doubts as the United Kingdom government has put forth stricter travel restrictions. The new strain, currently known as B.1.1.529, has forced the UK to temporarily suspend flights from South Africa and other Southern African countries.

The quarantine guidelines for the ones, who will return to the UK, are being prepared for the time being. The UK is set to impose a ban on non-residents from entry from noon on Friday, November 26. Moreover, the Irish and UK residents, arriving after 4 AM on Sunday morning, have to undergo a self-funded mandatory hotel quarantine.

Doubts over remaining Netherlands-South Africa ODIs

The Dutch camp was concerned for the fact that their players might be stranded in South Africa due to the cancellation of flights, Cricbuzz reported. The first of the three ODIs is currently taking place at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. But there’s no confirmation on the two remaining matches in the series.

Pieter Seelaar and Co. are scheduled to play two more ODIs on Sunday, November 28 and Wednesday, December 1 in Centurion and Johannesburg respectively. Both teams recently took part in the T20 World Cup 2021 in Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

The Dutch team couldn’t win a single game and lost three matches against Sri Lanka, Ireland and Namibia. The Proteas, on the other hand, started their Super 12 campaign with a loss at the hands of Australia. But they made an incredible comeback after winning four matches in a row. However, they failed to go to the semis after England and the Aussies edged them out on net run rate.

The likes of Rassie van der Dussen, Anrich Nortje, Aiden Markram and Kagiso Rabada performed well and guided the Proteas in the tournament. For the series against the Netherlands, the hosts rested Quinton de Kock, Rabada, Nortje and a few other big names.

As far as the Dutch team is concerned, the ongoing series is their first assignment after the retirement of Ryan ten Doeschate. All-round cricketer Roelof van der Merwe is also playing against his former national team in the series.