Cricket South Africa managed to salvage this summer’s marquee tour by India, although they had to make some concessions to ensure the most-watched and richest team in the world would arrive.
There are no perfect scenarios in the Covid-ravaged sports world, so every event, tour and match and the associated difficulties of bio-bubbles and stringent Covid-19 protocols must be weighed up against the alternative of not happening at all.
In the case of India’s tour to this country, there was only one option for Cricket South Africa (CSA): it must take place. The alternative was unthinkable.
India’s highly anticipated tour to South Africa during December and January is the most vital of any in the current four-yearly broadcast cycle because of the immense income it generates through television rights sales.
The original 10-match tour, which included three Tests, three One-Day Internationals (ODI) and four T20Is, was set to earn CSA R700-million in broadcast fees and many millions more in sponsorship activations.
That was in a perfect world. In the Covid world, naturally there were obstacles to overcome at the last minute and the tour’s length has been reduced with the four T20Is dropping off.
That will shave more than R100-million…