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England's tour of SA gets the green light from Home Affairs‚ but.........

19 October 2020 - 17:11 By Khanyiso Tshwaku
Proteas limited-overs captain Quinton de Kock will be crossing fingers that the England tour of SA get the green light.
Proteas limited-overs captain Quinton de Kock will be crossing fingers that the England tour of SA get the green light.
Image: Sameera Peiris/Gallo Images

Cricket South Africa's (CSA) bid to save England's tour of SA next month may have been handed a lifeline on Monday but it has now emerged that they still have one final more hurdle to negotiate before getting the green light.

TimesLIVE understands that the department of home affairs have approved CSA’s request to host England in three ODIs and three T20s in Cape Town and Paarl.

But CSA are not home free yet as they must now convince sports minister Nathi Mthethwa that they can host England in SA‚ despite the current administrative turmoil that has bedevilled the embattled organisation for months.

The beleaguered cricket body has until Tuesday to plead their case to the sports ministry.

Sunday Times reported that Home Affairs was to respond to CSA on Monday while CSA had until Tuesday to respond to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

Mthethwa’s ministry‚ which has a serious bone to pick with CSA with regards to their non-compliance to the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc)‚ could imperil the cricket body by cancelling the tour.

The ministry could also hold CSA’s nonchalant acting president Beresford Williams to ransom over the tour.

In a strongly worded letter on October 14‚ Mthethwa gave CSA until October 27 to explain why he shouldn’t intervene in their affairs‚ while also informing the International Cricket Council (ICC) of his intended actions.

Should the sports ministry block the tour‚ CSA‚ who are in a perilous financial situation‚ stand to lose nearly R50m in broadcast and sponsorship revenue.

That could cap a disastrous year where little has gone right for the embattled organisation‚ but most of those troubles are self-made.

However‚ if the tour goes ahead‚ the six matches will take place at Newlands Stadium and Boland Park in Paarl while England will also observe the 10-day quarantine.

Both teams are going to stay at the Vineyard Hotel while the matches will be played without spectators.

England were always going to struggle to get into South Africa as the United Kingdom remains on Home Affairs' restricted travel list because of high Covid-19 transmission and infection rates.

England‚ last summer’s main tourists and the defending 50-over men’s Cricket World Cup champions‚ aren’t as lucrative as India but are equally marketable. They have been the most willing to host and travel for cricket.

With Australia set to host India‚ South Africa are England’s only viable Southern Hemisphere summer option as New Zealand will be hosting Pakistan and the West Indies.

England have also successfully hosted their domestic four-day and T20 competitions while also having the West Indies‚ Pakistan and Australia over for Tests‚ ODI’s and T20’s.

Should the tour happen‚ it’ll come at an excellent time for cash-strapped CSA‚ who were going to declare a profit of R50m at their annual general meeting that was supposed to take place in September.

That meeting has now been pencilled down for December 5 if it does take place.