The South African cricket team considers Calcutta to be a “safe city” and will, therefore, be going back home from here and not New Delhi in order to avoid the coronavirus threat.
Already two persons have died of the disease in the capital.
The Proteas will be arriving in the city on Monday early afternoon and depart on Tuesday morning.
South Africa were scheduled to play the third and final ODI at Eden Gardens on Wednesday before the issues surrounding COVID-19 led to the series getting called off. The first ODI in Dharamsala was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain.
“They (South Africa) consider Calcutta to be a safe city. That’s why they will leave home from here. They will be leaving Lucknow at 11am on Monday by a chartered flight and will reach here at 12.40pm,” CAB president Avishek Dalmiya told The Telegraph on Sunday.
The state government asked the South Africans to stay at a hotel close to the airport, Avishek added.
“They wanted to stay at Taj Bengal, but the state government asked them to stay at a hotel close to the airport. The Bidhannagar police commissionerate has been advised by the state government to extend them the required support, while the CAB will ensure medical facilities in consultation with a city hospital.
“We have also spoken to chief minister Mamata Banerjee and the chief secretary, and they are keeping track of things,” Avishek said.
A spokesperson of the South African team also confirmed the development.
“The team will travel to Calcutta from Lucknow on Monday, from where they will return to South Africa.
“They will connect to South Africa via Dubai. Cape Town-based players and management staff will fly directly from Dubai, while the rest of the team will fly to Johannesburg,” the spokesperson said.