South Africa vs Netherlands: Last two ODIs postponed amid concerns over new COVID-19 variant

South Africa vs Netherlands: Last two ODIs postponed amid concerns over new COVID-19 variant

The series is a part of the ongoing World Cup Super League.

South Africa
South Africa. (Photo by Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

The new variant of the COVID-19 virus, Omicron, has put a halt in the ongoing ODI series between South Africa and Netherlands. While the first of the three ODIs was abandoned due to rain, the other two clashes have been postponed due to the concerns over the new variant. Notably, this series is a part of the ongoing World Cup Super League, which determines qualification for the 2023 ODI World Cup.

As of now South Africa and Netherlands are occupying the ninth and 12th place in the list, outside the automatic qualification zone. Hence, this series was crucial for both sides. It has to be noted that Netherlands team has to stay in South Africa for the duration of the series because they are unable to catch a flight out.

However, as per a report in ESPNcricinfo, the Dutch players have communicated that they are not in the right mental state to play. Notably, Netherlands head coach Ryan Campbell had lauded his players for performing despite ‘unbelievable’ pressure in the first ODI, suggesting there’s tension in the dressing room regarding the new variant.

“Extremely proud of my @KNCBcricket lads today under the most unbelievable pressure hanging over their heads against @OfficialCSA ….I think we showed a lot of people that we can compete at this level,” he tweeted on Friday (November 26).

We are disappointed by the unfortunate situation: CSA’s acting CEO

Meanwhile, Cricket South Africa’s acting CEO Pholetsi Mosek has expressed disappointment over the unfortunate conditions. “We are disappointed by the unfortunate situation we find ourselves in, but the comfort of all visiting teams must always be paramount. The mental well-being of players is one of CSA’s top priorities, and we respect our visitors’ position and point of view,” Mosek was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

“CSA and KNCB will get into discussions around possibly rescheduling the tour within this cycle of the ICC Future Tours Programme ending in 2023,” he added. Chairman of Netherlands cricket board, Jurgen Delfos also expressed sorrow over the matter.

“We are saddened by these circumstances, but are grateful to Cricket South Africa for their assistance and understanding of our team’s position,” he asserted.