Cape Town cricket bosses are appealing to the umpires after an international match was scheduled on a Jewish holy day.
South Africa is set to play Australia in a one-day game at Newlands on October 12, which falls on Yom Kippur — the day of atonement for Jews, who fast and pray on the day.
The Western Province Cricket Association’s (WPCA) Nabeal Dien says he has written to Cricket South Africa (CSA) and they will also contact the International Cricket Council (ICC) to raise the issue of scheduling matches on religious holidays.
“I have had a response from Cricket South Africa (acknowledging the request) but it’s highly unlikely that we’ll be successful in getting the date changed,” admits Dien.
The clash of dates was brought to Dien’s attention by Jewish members of the WPCA, who told him that they wouldn’t be able to watch the match at Newlands.
Dien says: “Arnold Bloch is a former Province Cricket President and Benny Rabinowitz is one of our benefactors and I spoke with them and realised they would miss out on the cricket.”
“As WPCA, we treasure the peaceful co-existence and religious harmony of Jewish South Africans, Christians, Muslims and followers of other religious convictions.”
Dien says that in the past, the ICC has not been mindful of religious occasions and “they have had cricket matches overseas on Eid and Yom Kippur before”.
ICC spokesperson Sami Ul Hasan, however, says the international body does not decide series fixture dates.
“The ICC was not involved in the scheduling of the SA v Australia ODI series. This is a bilaterally arranged series, with the playing schedule being agreed between the two competing teams,” he says.
Spokesperson for CSA, Altaaf Kazi, confirms this, saying: “This is a bilateral series so the dates would have been confirmed between the two countries.”
Kazi could not comment on whether CSA would consider changing match dates to accommodate Jewish cricket fans.