Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, South Africa's tours to West Indies and Sri Lanka have been indefinitely postponed, confirmed Cricket South Africa's (CSA) director of cricket, Graeme Smith, on Saturday (August 1).
Smith said the Proteas aren't expected to be back in action until November, post their participation in the Indian Premier League (IPL) from September 19 to November 8 in the UAE.
Johnny Grave, the Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief executive, had publicly expressed his wish to have the South Africans arriving in the Caribbean for the two-Test and five-T20Is in September. The series was originally due to be played in July-August but was unfortunately suspended in wake of the Coronavirus outbreak. As was the three-ODI and three-T20I trip to Sri Lanka in June before that.
The two Tests against West Indies are part of the World Test Championship and the ODIs versus Sri Lanka among the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League fixtures.
The T20Is were expected to fine-tune Proteas' preparations for the T20 World Cup, which had to be postponed because of the logistical challenges of safely hosting a 16-team event in these times.
"West Indies has been postponed indefinitely. We are struggling to find a time with the IPL being fitted in," Smith was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. "It looks like our players are going to be needed from the beginning of September, government permitting, and travel permitting. Sri Lanka also (postponed)."
However, the former captain said CSA will make all efforts in properly rescheduling the series that have been affected by the pandemic.
"I expect that once things get up and running, our team, on the men’s side, I would say from November onwards, if all goes well, it will be a really busy period for South African cricket, probably playing in times that we haven’t played before and trying to cram in a lot of the missed tours," Smith concluded.