South Africa Cricket to Hit Restart Button With Made-for-TV Match on June 27
Proteas head coach Mark Boucher, bowling coach Charl Langeveldt and batting consultant Jacques Kallis©CSA twitter

Top South African cricketers will return to action after the coronavirus-forced hiatus with the country’s cricket board (CSA) planning to organise a made-for-TV match featuring three teams in Centurion on June 27. The South African players have been confined to their homes since the COVID-19 pandemic forced a cricket shut down in March.

Acting Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Jacques Faul said the proposed match is a fund-raiser and will be held behind closed doors pending government clearance. “Government have to gazette the Level 3 regulations and then the minister of sport will go over the return-to-play protocols that we have sent, which he must agree with,” he told ‘The Citizen’ on Wednesday.

“It’s in the hands of the department of sport, arts and culture, but they have been good with us. So hopefully we’ll be playing again at the end of June and we’ll start with the Proteas players, for obvious reasons.”

CSA’s chief medical officer, Dr Shuaib Manjra said strict protocols will be in place for the match.

“First of all it will be an empty stadium, we’re looking at the minimum number of people being there for the event to happen and be broadcast, which is about 200,” Manjra said.

“The players will get in three days before and be kept in a sanitised eco-system, at the hotel, when they travel and at the stadium. We will test the players before they get to Centurion and again five days afterwards in order to get rid of any false negatives.

“In the stadium, everyone will wear masks and doors will be kept open along with other safety measures.”

If the match goes ahead as planned, it will help the South African players prepare ahead of their scheduled series against the West Indies and India in late July and August.

South African cricketers were keen to resume training after Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa had announced on May 30 that professional sports can resume training.

But a court ruling that said that the lockdown regulations are unconstitutional, they made things difficult and fresh laws will now need to be gazetted and only then permission can be granted by Mthethwa.