Postponement of Dutch Super League series confirmed

SHARJAH, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - OCTOBER 22: Pieter Seelaar of Netherlands cuts a dejected figure following the ICC Men's T20 World Cup match between Sri Lanka and Netherlands at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on October 22, 2021 in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Matthew Lewis-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

It was confirmed on Saturday that Cricket South Africa and the KNCB had mutually agreed to postpone the remaining two matches of their three-match Super League series because of concerns about the impact of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Acting CSA chief executive Pholetsi Moseki stated that discussions would follow about the possibility of rescheduling the remaining games ‘within this cycle of the ICC Future Tours Programme ending in 2023’.

Moletsi observed that ‘we are disappointed by the unfortunate situation we find ourselves in, but the comfort of all visiting teams must always be paramount.

‘The mental well-being of players is one of CSA’s top priorities, and we respect our visitors’ position and point of view.’

The announcement came hard on the heel of the ICC’s decision to abandon the Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Harare and to base the qualifications on pre-tournament seedings determined by ODI rankings.

Commenting on the postponement of the Super League series KNCB chairman Jurgen Delfos thanked CSA for their assistance and understanding.

‘We are saddened by these circumstances,’ he said, ‘but are grateful to Cricket South Africa for their assistance and understanding of our team’s position.

Dutch-South Africa
Pieter Seelaar and Keshav Maharaj ahead of the first ODI between the Netherlands and South Africa (Photo: CSA)

‘It must be made clear that the concerns are strictly over travel issues and how soon the team can get home, and have nothing to do with the Bio-Secure Environment (BSE) that CSA has successfully hosted. Our team has been pleased with every aspect of the organisation of the tour and have been very well treated by our hosts.

‘We have been looking forward to this series against the Proteas for some time, and are keen on returning to South Africa in the near future.’

Speaking on Friday before the decision to postpone, Dutch team manager Steven van Dijk anticipated his chairman’s appreciation of CSA’s hosting of the tour.

‘We have had our own building at Tuks [the Pretoria University complex where the party has been staying],’ he said, ‘and sealed-off areas. We have had daily tests and have run through it smoothly.

‘We have had two liaison officers from the time we arrived in South Africa, who will stick with us until the moment we leave. These South Africans really know how to create a bubble!’

The Dutch squad is currently booked on a KLM flight on 2 December, and Delfos confirmed on Saturday that the KNCB’s focus is on ensuring that they are able to depart then.

‘The players’ safety is our only concern,’ he said, ‘and we’re grateful to CSA for their work to keep them safe.’

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