Calcutta/Johannesburg: Even as the world mourned the death of Nelson Mandela, Cricket South Africa put an end to speculations about the fate of India’s curtailed tour to the country by confirming on Friday that the second Momentum One-Day International is on.
The match will take place at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on Sunday as originally scheduled. “We have taken this decision in consultation with Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA),” commented CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat. “We will, of course, appropriately mark the passing away of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the father of our nation and one of the world’s greatest icons.”
The CSA also confirmed that the three-match rubber will be dedicated to the memory of Nelson Mandela.
South Africa was thrown into a solemn mood last evening when it was announced that Mandela had passed away at the age of 95. The entire country is in mourning, for this is their biggest loss as a society.
However, removing doubts around the series, following death of Mandela, CSA said the series against India will proceed as scheduled.
“We have just received the official confirmation from the government that Sunday’s game at Durban is on as well as the third ODI in Centurion on December 11,” Michael Owen-Smith, executive consultant of the CSA, said.
The two-Test series, beginning December 22, is also likely to be held as scheduled, but there is speculation that two-day practice game, starting December 14 at Benoni may be re-scheduled or cancelled due to Mandela’s funeral on December 15.
CSA president Chris Nenzani said: “As part of the greater South African family of former president Nelson Mandela, CSA expresses its sincere condolences to the family of Madiba, to the nation and the world.
“His love for sport and his appreciation of what it could do to unify the country is legendary. He was a keen amateur boxer in his youth, but he loved all sporting codes across the board.”