Cricket South Africa (CSA) took another moerse knock this week when Australia pulled the plug on their series here later this month.
We all know that things aren’t great at the sport’s national governing body, with a new skandaal coming out almost every week.
But the blame for Cricket Australia’s call to postpone their three-Test contest in Mzansi can’t be laid at the door of CSA.
According to statements from both CSA and their Aussie counterparts, they discussed at length many options to make this tour happen.
However, it was coronavirus risks that ultimately scuppered the planne.
Now don’t get me wrong, the consideration of curbing the spread of the pandemic should be at the forefront of everything we do in this new normal.
Seriously, though, this was a cop out by the Aussies. Plain and simple.
Having hosted England and Sri Lanka here already this summer speaks to CSA’s and our government’s ability to keep visiting players and staff safe during this pandemic.
More on England later.
CSA gave up their team hotel – apparently a lekker plush pad with lots of outdoor space to keep fit and beat the feelings of isolation and confinement.
According to reports, SA’s Director of Cricket Graeme Smith even discussed the option of moving the tour Down Under – where planning for the Australian Open tennis tournament is turning into a Covid nightmare.
But there, my friends, is where the Aussies reached too close to the real reason they didn’t want to get on a plane to SA.
Being part of the world cricket’s “big three” – with England and India – Cricket Australia think they can call the shots and impose their will on the lesser ICC nations.
Is it any wonder that Australia have only agreed to play their mates during the pandemic?
Just remember these selle Aussies went to tour the UK in September when the pandemic lockdown was four levels deep.
Let me tell what I think this is about.
Having just come off the back of home series defeat to a depleted India, these manne are licking their wounds and don’t want to leave the house.
Their next assignment is a gentle trip to neighbours New Zealand.
And then a host of their cricketers will be going to get rich in the Indian Premier League later this year.
With England getting “false positive” coronavirus test results in Cape Town late last year, they decided to cut their tour short, when in fact their bio-bubble has never compromiseed.
This year, they and India are due to play 10 Tests. A whole 10 Tests.
It was a blow for SA cricket, but the recent tour by Sri Lanka went off without a hitch.
CSA’s current deal with Pakistan has seen the women’s teams just complete a series here, while our manne are in the sub-continent for the first time since 2008.
Quinton de Kock and his Proteas are there with a heavily-armed security detail just to make things happen.
Without the threat of their team bus being shot at by terrorists, Australia said “nee dankie” to a tour to Mzansi.
They hou dik that the decision to scrap the tour to SA is based on health concerns, but with cases falling and restrictions being lifted by President Cyril Ramaphosa this very week, it is a bitter pill to swallow.
With England, Australia and and India making sure they look after each other’s interests, it’s swak to see that they are willing to let the rest of the game suffer.
Other nations are hustling to get a game.
What Australia have done is not only cowardly and dishonest, but also damaging to our game.
England did the same thing when they were here, playing golf while racking up a of R30m bill for CSA.
They are using the coronavirus as an excuse to hurt their colleagues and rivals and it needs to stop.
PS: The Proteas captaincy issue needs to be sorted out once the tour to Pakistan is over.
Quinton de Kock looks burdened by the responsibility of doing the five-day job. He didn’t want it in the first place.
I’d give the job to Dean Elgar. He wants it, he’s said it.
Batting at the top of the innings, he has one job and that’s to stay in as long as possible and give his team a firm foundation.
He can be a solid partner out in the middle and manage both his own and his teammates’ innings.
Failing that, he’s out early and then he is free to go ahead with making planne.