Cricket SA anticipates shortened 2020/21 season

Cricket South Africa (CSA) acting chief executive Dr Jacques Faul says it is unlikely that the upcoming season will begin as scheduled.

The majority of sporting events across the globe have been driven to a halt by the current global pandemic, with the previous South African cricket season cut short with weeks remaining.

Pandemic could affect start of new cricket season

The 2020/21 season, originally planned for later in the year, is also likely to be affected as it could coincide with the anticipated peak infection period in the country.

A big event in the calendar is the Mzansi Super League, which kicks off in November, but could be played behind closed doors.

"The unlikeliest scenario is that the season will start as normal," he said in a virtual press conference on Thursday. "The second one is that we only have half a season. As the scenarios unfold and we get more clarity. One of the likely scenarios we are planning for is half a season, so January onwards, and hopefully the MSL at the start."Dr Jacques Faul

Faul added that he was not sure that the MSL would be played without spectators.

 "It could be a restricted audience and the capacity will be lower so that we can guarantee social distancing but it will need to be government approved and we would need to look at the cost factor of it and the risks. And that would only be around November or December. I can't see it happening earlier, but the MSL would have been scheduled for that period anyway."Dr Jacques Faul

On the international front, the Proteas are expected back on the field as early as July, where they are scheduled to begin their tour to the Caribbean, where they will take on the West Indies on two Tests and five Twenty20 Internationals (T20I).

There is also discussions of a return to India in late August, where they could square off against the hosts in three T20Is.

 "We are keen to play as quickly as possible. We believe we are a socially distant sport," Director of Cricket Graeme Smith said.
"From our perspective, we are trying to ensure players are as ready as possible."Graeme Smith