After the England tour of South Africa was called off due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the hosts went on to blame the visiting side for breaching a bio-secure environment for their practice session.
South Africa’s Western Province cricket officials specified the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) as well as the local authorities that they wouldn’t be responsible for the health of English players.
They said that England players opted to practice in an outdoor net facility and hence the cricket officials cant be held accountable for the safety of touring side.
However, now ECB has cleared the reason as to why their players chose to practice outside. ECB said that the rest of the available pitches were not up to the standard of Newlands, a cricket venue in Cape Town.
“On arrival at Newlands on 3 December, we advised the venue that the three nets provided on the main pitch were not of a standard for conducive practice, as per the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the respective boards. Batsmen were unable to face seam bowlers on the nets on the main pitch as the surfaces were rendered and unacceptable,” said an ECB spokesperson as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
We requested CSA to provide security chain: ECB spokesperson
The ECB official further added that they requested Cricket South Africa (CSA) to provide them with the security cordon in order to pursue the practice in the outbound net facility. The same happened during the T20I series on November 28.
“We requested with CSA that we would like to use the practice nets and that we would create a security cordon to ensure the players and coaches could enter the facility safely, as done previously on 28- November,” added the English spokesperson.
“This was confirmed by England’s Security Team, the Team Operations Manager, and the Team Doctor. We were satisfied with this outcome, and we were able to practice in the net facility safely,” the spokesperson remarked.