Cricket

IPL 2021: CSA’s Graeme Smith says South Africans free to choose between continuing to play or returning home

Johannesburg: South Africa's Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith said the country's cricket board is always there to help but it is up to the cricketers to decide if they want to continue playing in the IPL after it has been hit by the COVID-19 storm on Monday.

A COVID-19 outbreak left the star-sprinkled IPL on tenterhooks as Kolkata Knight Riders' Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive for the dreaded virus, forcing postponement of their game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, while cases also came to light in the Chennai Super Kings camp.

"We've offered support to the players and made ourselves available to them should there be any concerns," Cricket SA's Director of Cricket Graeme Smith was quoted as saying by iol.co.za.

Quinton de Kock of Mumbai Indians during match 24 of the Vivo Indian Premier League between the Mumbai Indians and the Rajasthan Royals held at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi, India on the 29th April 2021 Photo by Ron Gaunt / Sportzpics for IPL

Quinton de Kock plays for Mumbai Indians. Sportzpics

"Ultimately, it is in their hands to make a choice (about their continued participation)."

As many as 11 South African players, including white-ball skipper Quinton de Kock, pacer Kagiso Rabada and former captain Faf du Plessis, are currently participating in the IPL for various teams.

While there are no Proteas players in KKR, du Plessis, Lungi Ngidi and Imran Tahir play for Chennai, whose bowling coach L Balaji and a bus driver has tested positive.

Many countries, including Australia and New Zealand, have banned flights from India but South Africa has still kept its borders open with travellers needing to submit a negative test report within 72 hours of travelling.

Updated Date: May 03, 2021 22:48:15 IST

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