South Africa's tours of West Indies and Sri Lanka postponed indefinitely

With more bilateral series postponed, South African players will have to wait longer for international cricket BCCI

South Africa men's tours of the West Indies and Sri Lanka have been postponed indefinitely, CSA director of cricket Graeme Smith has confirmed. The tour of Caribbean was originally slated for July-August comprising two Tests and five T20Is, and the one of Sri Lanka had three ODIs and as many T20Is scheduled for June, but both were postponed earlier because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cricket West Indies chief executive Johnny Grave had recently said they were looking at September to host South Africa for either five T20Is or two Tests, but there is a slim gap between the CPL, that ends on September 10 in Trinidad, and the IPL, which is set to start on September 19 in the UAE. Smith said in a press conference on Saturday their players "will be needed" at the IPL which ended the possibilities of the bilateral series happening soon.

"West Indies has been postponed indefinitely. We are struggling to find a time with the IPL being fitted in," Smith said. "It looks like our players are going to be needed from the beginning of September, government-permitting, and travel permitting. Sri Lanka also [postponed]. I expect that once things get up and running, our team, on the men's side, I would say from November onwards, if all goes well, it will be a really busy period for South African cricket, probably playing in times that we haven't played before and trying to cram in a lot of the missed tours."

Even though Covid-19 cases aren't as high in Sri Lanka and the West Indies compared to other parts of the world, the rising threat in South Africa has shut their international borders. It meant five South Africans couldn't make it to the Caribbean for the CPL starting August 18 and the participation of all South African players, barring Imran Tahir, in the IPL also remains uncertain. Tahir had been in Pakistan for the PSL in March when many international borders started closing and is the only South African set to play in the CPL.

Whether it's the men for the IPL or the women for the tour of England, they will all need government permission to get out of South Africa.