India's South Africa cricket tour fixtures announced despite COVID-19 cloud

With South Africa hit by travel restrictions following the discovery of the fast-spreading Omicron variant of coronavirus, CSA announced last week the tour will be played under strict bio-secure conditions.

South Africa's David Miller (R) and teammate Kagiso Rabada celebrate their win in the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup cricket match between South Africa and Sri Lanka at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah on October 30, 2021. Picture: Indranil Mukherjee / AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - India will play Test matches in Centurion, Johannesburg and Cape Town on their tour of South Africa which starts later this month, Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced on Monday.

The first world championship Test will start at SuperSport Park in Centurion on 26 December.

The second Test will be played at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg from 3-7 January with the final Test scheduled for Newlands in Cape Town from 11-15 January .

The Test series will be followed by three one-day internationals, the first two in Paarl on 19 and 21 January and the third at Newlands on 23 January.

The one-day matches were originally part of the International Cricket Council's World Cup Super League, but the CSA said in a separate announcement that was no longer the case.

With South Africa hit by travel restrictions following the discovery of the fast-spreading Omicron variant of coronavirus, CSA announced last week the tour will be played under strict bio-secure conditions.

India, who earlier on Monday completed a Test series win against New Zealand in Mumbai, will travel to South Africa by chartered flight and will go straight into bio-secure accommodation in the Gauteng region for the first two Tests.

They will then travel to Cape Town for the remaining fixtures. Boland Park in Paarl is about 50km from Cape Town.

The tour was originally scheduled to start on December 17 and continue until January 26, with four Twenty20 internationals to be played after the one-day games.

It was announced last week the tour would be delayed and shortened because of the coronavirus situation.

The T20 internationals will be played later in 2022.

The discovery of the Omicron variant led to travel bans to and from South Africa by many countries and also disrupted sports fixtures, including a tour by the Netherlands cricket team which was cut short after the first of three one-day matches.

But South Africa praised India for their "solidarity" in continuing with an ongoing three-match four-day series between the A teams of the two countries, currently being played in Bloemfontein, and for standing by their commitment to the Test tour.

Fixtures:

26-30 December, first Test, Centurion

3-7 January, second Test, Johannesburg

11-15 January, third Test, Cape Town

19 January, first one-day international, Paarl

21 January, second one-day international, Paarl

23 January, third one-day international, Cape Town