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Players will get absolute clarity on South Africa tour soon, says Kohli (Ld)

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Mumbai, Dec 2 (IANS) Members of the Indian cricket team will have a lot more clarity in the next couple of days on the upcoming tour of South Africa considering the health scare in the country due to the emergence of a new variant of the novel coronavirus.

India Test and ODI skipper Virat Kohli admitted that the players have a lot of concerns on this issue, the bubble life and SOPs considering the ever-evolving situation and they are in regular touch with the Indian cricket board for information.

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There are a lot of concerns worldwide over the detection of a new coronavirus variant called Omicron in South Africa and many countries have pulled out their sports teams from the country and many others have banned international travel to and from South Africa.

The Indian team is scheduled to fly out on December 9 on a chartered flight and the BCCI has maintained that the tour is currently on and that they are in constant touch with Cricket South Africa and the Indian government regarding the developments.

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Amidst reports that the tour may be delayed by a few days, Kohli said that they are waiting for clarity from the BCCI. He said the players do have concerns regarding the tour, the new variant of Covid-19, the restrictions that would be in place, and that chief coach Rahul Dravid has initiated a conversation in the team to understand their concerns.

“Well, look it’s pretty natural, I mean, we are not playing in normal times anyway, so there is a lot of planning that’s involved, there is a lot of preparation that is involved in terms of understanding exactly what’s going to go on, there are players who are not part of the group right now, who will be entering quarantine to join the team in the bubble, to fly in a charter, those kinds of things, you want to seek clarity as soon as possible,” Kohli said.

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“So we have spoken to all the senior members of the squad, obviously Rahul bhai (Rahul Dravid) has initiated a conversation within the group, which is very important to know because at the end of the day, we understand, I mean our focus from the Test match will not shift regardless, but also know that you would want to have clarity and you want to be in a situation where you know ‘xactly what’s going on and we have been talking to the board and we are pretty confident within, you know a day or two or pretty soon, will have absolute clarity as to what is going on.

“…But we need to be realistic about things as well. We cannot you know, just ignore the things that potentially could put you in a confusing place and no one wants to be there, so I am’sure everyone’s working hard towards finding clarity and giving us the situation as it unfolds as soon as possible and we all are hopeful that will happen soon and as I said our prime focus right now is the second Test and the other things are simultaneously being taken care of,” Kohli said during a virtual press conference ahead of the second Test against New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium.

The India A team is currently playing a series in South Africa and the BCCI has not given any indication that it is planning to pull the team out of the tour.

–IANS

bsk/skm

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