The postponement of the T20 Champions League has led to an extra warm-up match being scheduled ahead of the Proteas’ first Test against Australia.
The event was meant to take place from 3-11 December but the spate of attacks yesterday that left at least 100 people dead and 300 wounded in seven separate incidents created logistical problems for the organisers. The English cricket team have also postponed the rest of their ODI series in the country, while the Test series is also in danger of being called off.
Six Proteas players who would have been involved will now head to Australia with the rest of the squad on 6 December. In addition to the two-day match against Western Australia on 13 December the Proteas are likely to play a one-day match with no restriction of overs at the Test venue, the Waca in Perth, on 10 December.
“It is regrettable that the governing council of the Champions League had to take this decision but they had no choice in the circumstances,” said Gerald Majola, chief executive of Cricket South Africa. “The safety of the players is of paramount importance at all times.
“It obviously has negative financial connotations for everybody involved and it is a huge disappointment for the franchise players from the Dolphins and the Titans who were looking forward to the opportunity of competing on a bigger stage.”
Lalit Modi, the organiser of the IPL and Champions League, said finding a replacement venue for Mumbai was problematic. It is hoped the event will be held early next year but finding a period to fit in with the international schedule could be a hindrance, but Modi remains upbeat.
“We are confident that we can hold the tournament early next year,” Modi told Cricinfo.
“India will remain the venue, as there was never a problem with hosting it here. All the teams agreed that they wanted to come for the tournament. But we had a problem with finding a third venue after Mumbai. There was no way we could have shifted the venue to Bangalore or Chennai, considering the state of the wickets and the grounds would not have accommodated all the matches.”
Graeme Smith (Rajasthan Royals) and Makhaya Ntini (Chennai Super Kings) were meant to join the Titans and Dolphins in India.