The much-awaited Australia tour of South Africa has been postponed due to the sudden outbreak of the coronavirus in the rainbow nation. The Australian side was scheduled to head to South Africa later this month, but all the plans have now come to a halt after CA’s interim chief executive Nick Hockley said travelling to South Africa posed “unacceptable” risk to the touring party.

South Africa is battling a second wave of COVID-19 and a new variant of the virus.

“Following extensive due diligence with medical experts, it has become clear that traveling from Australia to South Africa at this current time poses an unacceptable level of health and safety risk to our players, support staff and the community,” Hockley said in a statement.

“We acknowledge the significant amount of work by CSA in planning for the tour, during which we made it clear that CA was prepared to take on additional cost and effort to make the series happen.

“This decision has not been made lightly and we are extremely disappointed, especially given the importance of continuing international cricket at this time, our valued relationship with CSA, and our aspirations to compete in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship.”