The cancellation of the Australian tour of South Africa in March is the second shock wave that Cricket South Africa (CSA) has had to absorb, after England cancelled the One Day International Series in November 2020 because of Covid scares.
The cancellation of these two high profile tours will hurt CSA financially, as they will lose millions of rand in television rights and sponsorship income. It certainly is proving to be a challenging year for CSA both on and off the field.
The question must be asked, have these two countries the right to cancel these tours because of Covid concerns? The answer must be NO, as CSA successfully hosted Sri Lanka, the Pakistan Women’s Series and the T20 Series against England. Of course, Covid must be taken seriously but not used as an excuse by player power; that is obvious in both those camps.
Let us not forget that in dangerous Covid times in the United Kingdom, England hosted the West Indies and Pakistan in Test series, and Australia in both formats of white ball cricket.
Can the problem be that players are being mentally affected by the restrictions of the bio-bubble and self-isolation? If this is the case, countries need to factor these dynamics into their scheduling and not dump the game into chaos.
One thing is for sure: It cannot be tolerated that teams like England can walk out of tours on the whim of Covid, blaming it on the host nation when their players refuse to play, or Australia cancelling the tour at the eleventh hour. It has a material effect on the sustainability of the less affluent cricket nations because of loss of income. Would Australia and England cancel or walk out of tours against India? It is a question that does not need answering…
There are some lessons for CSA to learn from these disasters. They need to fix their administrative problems and restore their image. A once proud cricketing nation is no longer respected because of the way they administer the game based on a political agenda. It has led to chaos on and off the field. They are no longer trustworthy.
CSA has no credibility left with cricketing nations, sponsors and fans around the world, because administratively they are a chaotic organisation and have a poor team that no longer can attract big commercial investments. They have become easy to bully by the big cricket nations as they no longer bring anything to the cricketing table.