The fate of the Indian tour in South Africa should be known in a few days, says Kohli

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Cricket – ICC World Test Championship Final – India v New Zealand – Rose Bowl, Southampton, Britain – June 22, 2021 India’s Virat Kohli celebrates scoring the cricket of New Zealand’s Ross Taylor. Action images via Reuters/John Sibley

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MUMBAI, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Indian cricketers are expecting to find out in the coming days whether their tour of South Africa later this month will continue following the emergence of the coronavirus variant Omicron, said Thursday Captain Virat Kohli.

Sport in South Africa began shutting down last week after Omicron emerged, with travel bans and flight restrictions leaving rugby teams and golfers scrambling to leave the country.

South Africa are set to host India in a three-Test series starting in Johannesburg on December 17, followed by three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and four Twenty20 matches.

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“We don’t play in normal times anyway,” Kohli told reporters ahead of India’s second and final Test against New Zealand in Mumbai on Friday.

“So there’s a lot of planning that’s involved. There’s a lot of preparation that’s involved in understanding exactly what’s going on.

“There are players who are not part of the squad at the moment who will go into quarantine to join the team in the bubble to fly in a charter (plane) that sort of thing. Want to get some clarification as soon as possibly.”

The head of the Board of Cricket of India (BCCI), Sourav Ganguly, told Reuters last week that they were monitoring the situation in South Africa.

When asked if there were any talks to postpone the India tour, Ganguly’s Cricket’s South African counterpart Graeme Smith told reporters: “Nothing like that has been discussed.”

Kohli said coach Rahul Dravid has started discussions among the senior members of the Indian squad regarding the upcoming tour.

“We’ve spoken to the board and we’re pretty confident within a day or two or so we’ll have absolute clarity on what’s going on,” Kohli said.

“But yeah, listen, we also have to be realistic about things. We can’t just ignore things that could potentially put you in a confusing place and nobody wants to be there.

“So I’m sure everyone is working hard to find clarity and give us the situation as it unfolds as soon as possible. And we all hope that happens soon.”

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Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; additional reporting by Nick Said in Cape Town; edited by Simon Cameron-Moore

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