Four matches in the United Rugby Championship (URC) series in which the Lions, Bulls, Stormers and Sharks were to play on home soil against teams from Wales, Ireland and Italy have been postponed after the discovery of the Omicron strain of Covid-19 this week. Next weekend’s local matches have also been put off.
Golf’s Sunshine Series and DP World Series (formerly the European Series) also announced that the Alfred Dunhill Championship, which was to take place at the Leopard Creek Country Club in Malelane, Mpumalanga, in the middle of next month, has been cancelled.
The Johannesburg Open, which has already started, was concluded on Saturday after only 54 holes when about 20 overseas players withdrew from the tournament.
The Junior World Cup hockey tournament for Under-21 women’s teams that was to take place in Potchefstroom next month has also been postponed until further notice. This would have been the first time the tournament was held on African soil.
On the cricket front, there are concerns about India’s tour to South Africa. The Indians were to tour the country from next month to January, with three tests, three ODIs and four T20 matches planned.The Times of India reports that India’s Cricket Board must soon decide whether this tour, which could bring in millions of rands for Cricket South Africa (CSA), can continue.
The three-match ODI series between South Africa and the Netherlands was not played to completion this past week.
On Saturday, the CSA said: “The decision comes as a result of mounting anxiety and concern on the side of the visiting team around travel bans and restrictions on flights from South Africa being imposed by several countries around the world, including the UK and the US, as well as countries in the EU.