An irked Cricket South Africa has finally lodged an official complaint with the ICC after Cricket Australia indefinitely postponed its national team's three-Test tour of that nation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Australia had earlier this month postponed their tour of South Africa next month, citing “unacceptable health and safety risk” in that country because of a fresh COVID-19 outbreak, a decision that virtually knocked them out of contention from the World Test Championship final later this year.
CSA had slammed its Australian counterpart for postponing the tour, saying it is “extremely” disappointing and will lead to “serious financial loss”. It has now approached the ICC's dispute-resolution council on this matter.
According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, CSA acting CEO Pholetsi Moseki has shot off a letter to the ICC, asking it “to look into whether CA's cancellation amounts to acceptable or unacceptable non-compliance as per the WTC terms, bearing in mind that the series cannot be rescheduled before the end of the WTC window, which is April 30, 2021.”
CSA also wants the game's governing body to check the health situation in South Africa to decide if Australia violated the FTP terms by postponing the tour.
As per ICC's FTP terms and conditions, member nations have an obligation to fulfil their commitments barring special circumstances, including government instruction.
Citing a clause from WTC terms, Moseki wrote that it is for the independent experts from South Africa to decide the severity of health risks that forced Australia to postpone their tour.
“It would seem inappropriate to appoint a health and safety consultant outside of South Africa given that such an expert consultant would be unlikely to properly and accurately comprehend the Covid-19 related risks within South Africa and how they may be adequately managed,” Moseki wrote.
“Given the nature of the pandemic, it will inevitably require location-specific advice.”
Australia decided against touring South Africa as that country is currently battling a second wave of COVID-19 and a new variant of the virus.
It is not the first time that a cricket playing nation has cancelled a tour. In 2007 Australia decided against touring Zimbabwe on the advice of their government on political grounds and then in 2008 India didn't tour Pakistan due to tension between the two nations.