South Africa to travel home via Kolkata and Dubai amid coronavirus pandemic

South Africa to travel home via Kolkata and Dubai amid coronavirus pandemic

South Africa were scheduled to use either Delhi or Mumbai as their stopover.

South African team
South African team. (Photo by WIKUS DE WET/AFP via Getty Images)

That the WHO-approved pandemic that is the novel coronavirus have caused havoc around the world will be an understatement. The virus has literally brought the entire world to a standstill, with countries closing off their borders in a bid to stay in total isolation and prevent the proliferation of the disease. Sports arena has been one of the worst-hit fields with almost every tournament being postponed.

On the cricketing front, the ODI series between India-South Africa is one of the many bilateral/multi-national rubbers which has been called-off till the unforeseeable future. Earlier the BCCI had announced that the remaining two ODIs of the three-match series- in Lucknow and Kolkata- will be played behind closed doors.

But, with the situation deteriorating at an alarming rate, Cricket South Africa (CSA) requested their Indian counterparts to immediately call-off the rubber, something that the BCCI adhered to immediately.

Proteas chose Kolkata route over Delhi and Mumbai

South Africa were scheduled to use either Delhi or Mumbai as their stopover, from where they would return to their country via Dubai. But the Proteas have chosen the Eastern Metropolis city of Kolkata, since the Bengal city has not recorded any confirmed case of coronavirus, as of yet.

“They will land here tomorrow and will leave the next morning. Accordingly, the BCCI is trying to make arrangements closer to the airport,’ Cricket Association of Bengal president Avishek Dalmiya was quoted as saying by Yahoo on Sunday.

Dalmiya revealed that CAB has already briefed West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee about the same and assured that complete assistance will be given to the Proteas contingent.

‘We have also briefed the chief minister and the chief secretary about the developments. We are also in constant touch with BCCI president regarding this matter. Kolkata is considered to be one of the safest cities so it became their obvious choice. We will provide full assistance to the South Africa team.

“They will be our distinguished guests. Bidhannagar Commissioner of Police L N Meena is personally looking into the arrangements and will provide necessary support,” Dalmiya added. As far as the rescheduling of the ODI series is concerned, the BCCI and CSA, in a statement, confirmed that they will be working closely to chalk out an ideal time for the same.