Covid scare tipped them over the edge, but England could have played ODIs in South Africa: Nasser Hussain

Covid scare tipped them over the edge, but England could have played ODIs in South Africa: Nasser Hussain

Earlier this week, England’s 3-match ODI series versus South Africa was postponed after getting delayed thrice in four days because of positive Covid-19 results in both the squads.

South Africa and England participated in a series of 3 T20 internationals in Cape Town and Paarl from November 27 to December 1 and were scheduled to play 3 ODIs after that from December 6 but the series was postponed earlier this week after a member of the Proteas squad tested positive for Covid-19 in the bio-secure environment.

2 members of the England touring party initially returned positive test results as well, but were later cleared as negative.

The postponement was announced on Monday, with the England cricket boards saying the decision was made “to ensure the mental and physical health and welfare of players from both teams” after a number of coronavirus cases in the bio-secure bubble.

However, former England captain Nasser Hussain believes that the team could perhaps have gone ahead and played the ODI series, but it was their fear of Covid-19 that tipped them over the edge.

“After all the effort that has gone in, it is a very legitimate question [as to whether the games could have been played]. On the face of it, England players have not tested positive and are going home, so it’s a good question to ask.

“I think England will look back in a year, when their brains are unscrambled and hopefully we are back to normal cricket, and think ‘could we not have just played those three games?’ No one caught Covid on the England side.

“But you do that sort of thinking when you are crystal clear and calm. There will be a few brains in that bubble that are completely scrambled and any little Covid scare will tip them over the edge. I think that’s what’s happened,” Hussain said on Sky Sports.

CSA slammed the England cricket team

Cricket South Africa interim president Zak Yacoob also slammed England’s cricket team for their “negative” attitude during the series.

“The fact is that they (the England team) were very negative. 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,” Yacoob said.

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