England were the last team to tour South Africa before the coronavirus-induced lockdown hit the nation in March. In a bid to restart hosting international matches, South Africa will host England for 3 T20Is followed by as many T20Is from November 27 to December 9.
However, due to the internal tension that hit the Cricket South Africa board, the home series against England was in danger. But as England vice-captain Jos Buttler has revealed, ECB director Ashley Giles had already assured the players about touring South Africa.
“Reading in the paper the tour was in doubt, you are wondering if it was going ahead, but (ECB director of cricket) Ashley Giles got in touch with all the players and said he was confident it would go ahead,” Buttler said.
“I think everyone is grateful especially so close to your departure date you are starting to gear up to go. We’re delighted it can go ahead.”
Buttler on life in bio-bubble
The England limited-overs squads are supposed to travel to South Africa on Monday, November 16, and will complete a 10-day quarantine period ahead of the start of the T20I series. CSA have created a bio bubble in the Western Cape, with all white-ball fixtures being played at Cape Town and Paarl.
“I think we have got quite used to it. We got used to the bubble in England and a few of us have taken part in the IPL and been accustomed to that. It’ll be much the same. South Africa is a great tour and we won’t get to enjoy it as much as we usually would but I think everyone has become accustomed to what it is going to be like. I think for most of the lads an Xbox is quite high on the priority list, Netflix, reading books and I think, really, if you are feeling under pressure or not feeling yourself, having the confidence to open up and talk about it (is important),” Buttler said about life in bio bubble.
“I think all of us will go through it at different stages, where you feel a bit homesick or a bit claustrophobic, by not being able to get out and about as you might usually want to, so we will just have to make sure we are very aware of that. I think one thing the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) is excellent at is looking after the players’ mental wellbeing.”