Cricket: South Africa captain Bavuma confident in board's COVID protocols

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - Sri Lanka v South Africa -Second Test Match - Colombo, Sri Lanka - July 23, 2018 - South Africa's Temba Bavuma plays a shot. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

(Reuters) - South Africa's limited overs captain Temba Bavuma said he has full confidence in the bio-security protocols laid out by the country's cricket board (CSA) ahead of India's tour later this month.

Sport in South Africa began to shut down on Friday following the emergence of a new coronavirus variant, named Omicron, with travel bans and restrictions on flights leaving rugby teams and golfers scrambling to leave the country.

South Africa are set to host India in a three-test series starting in Johannesburg on Dec. 17 followed by three one-day internationals (ODI) and four Twenty20 matches.

"I'm confident that our BSEs (Bio-Security Environments) are of the highest safety standards," Bavuma said on Wednesday.

"Playing cricket in a BSE was a massive challenge for everyone involved in the game ... CSA has to be commended for the way that they have gone about the BSEs."

South Africa test captain Dean Elgar said that despite the mental toll of being in a bubble the players had accepted the need for strict protocols.

"It takes a toll on a player mentally and yet this team continues to produce good results and make progress -- that's something that I personally don't think is being spoken about enough," Elgar said.

"We don't know how much longer we'll be operating like this, but it's gratifying to know that when tours come around the health and safety of all involved is top priority."

The Netherlands' ODI tour to South Africa was postponed on Tuesday and the women's cricket World Cup qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe was also abandoned after the discovery of the new variant.

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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