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England criticised for abandoning tour as India pink-ball Test confirmed

Cricket South Africa has returned to the thorny issue of the abandonment of their three-match series with England this week by declaring there was “no reason” for the tour to be called off.

Zak Yacoob, the CSA interim board chairman, has described the tourists as having a negative attitude while reiterating his confidence in its Covid-19 proposals. The rebuke landed on Thursday morning as England confirmed their tour of India early next year which will include a day-night Test at the newly built Sardar Patel Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Yacoob said the postponement of the three-match series, at England’s request, had caused CSA reputational damage and warned the governing body would defend itself against “lies” as to the reasons behind the cancellation.

The England and Wales Cricket Board said in a joint statement with CSA on Monday that the decision to postpone the tour was over concerns about the “physical and mental wellbeing” of the touring party. An unnamed South Africa player and two hotel staff members contracted Covid-19 inside the biosecure environment. Two members of the England touring party initially returned positive test results as well, but these were later cleared as negative.

“What I want to negate is an idea that our provision of services was substandard and that there is any justification for the English saying they did not want to participate and go home. The fact is that they [the England team] were very negative,” Yacoob told reporters on Thursday, referring to the tourists’ attitude. “We have gone into our protocols and we think they have been very good. There may have been an issue of psychological troubles, where people [in the England team] may have been nervous about false positives.

“We do not wish to blame the English, but we wish to say absolutely that any notion that they went away because there was a fault on our side is completely wrong.

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