India in South Africa 2013-14 December 6, 2013

South Africa-India series to go ahead as scheduled


The South Africa-India series is set to be played out as scheduled, with the South Africa government having given Cricket South Africa the go ahead. The status of the ongoing tour was doubtful on Friday, following the death of former president Nelson Mandela. Several of the matches clash with various events arranged to mourn and honour Mandela. Cricket South Africa had subsequently sought advice from the South African presidency, on the scheduling of the series.

"All South African sporting codes, including cricket, football, beach volleyball and rugby sevens, have been allowed to continue their programmes," a spokesperson from the South African sports ministry said. On Saturday morning South Africa sports minister, Fikile Mbalula, will "outline the process" of paying respect to Mandela. A source told ESPNcricinfo that the usual will be done - black armbands, a minute's silence, flags at half-mast - but there will also be "something else".

"We have taken this decision in consultation with Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA)," CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat confirmed in a release. "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."

South Africa's domestic first-class games went ahead on Friday, after a minute's silence was observed.

Mandela, who was 95, passed away on Thursday evening at around 08.50pm, and the news was announced by South African president Jacob Zuma close to midnight. Friday was declared a day of mourning, and Sunday - the scheduled date of the second ODI - will be a national day of prayer. From December 11 to 13 Mandela's body will lie in state in Pretoria - the third and final ODI is in Centurion on 11th - before his funeral on December 15 in Qunu, his hometown in the Eastern Cape. India's two-day tour match, ahead of the Tests, is due to start on December 14.

CSA had already shown a willingness to put aside their needs for that of Mandela, earlier this year when it postponed its annual awards and key meetings regarding appointing a CEO when Mandela fell gravely ill in June. At the time, CSA said they felt it would be "inappropriate" to hold celebratory functions at a time of national concern.

With the mood in country one of celebration of Mandela's life, rather than sadness, CSA have since said they will dedicate the remainder of the India series to Mandela.

*16.00GMT, December 6: This article was updated after the series was given the go ahead.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • David on December 13, 2013, 3:37 GMT

    @ anupkeni owrote "India-South Africa test series should be called Gandhi-Mandela trophy.'

    Exactly my thoughts. I agree with you entirely. Nothing could be more appropriate that naming the trophy after the two greatest leaders of the 20th century - and 2 of the greets leaders the world has been blessed with.

  • Naresh on December 10, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    Mandela - was a man more like Mahatma Gandhi. Two great people who served their country and even showed the world how to be humble. On the cricket field there is SA's own - HASIM AMLA!!! Such a great character and player.

  • Dummy4 on December 7, 2013, 14:00 GMT

    I cant fathom the criticsm directed towards this indian team as if they have lost their first match ever. Agreed SA played better but series is still open. As for handling the pace, I think indian top order did okay, esp rohit who intelligently left steyn who was dead accurate. that spks volumes abt rohit's talent. ppl r criticsing him for being slow but that was the way 2 go. have wickets & then launch. UNFORTUNATELY FOR HIS RUN OUT, he looked set for an onslaught. my gut feeling he will come out stronger after this series.

  • Raman on December 7, 2013, 12:03 GMT

    Now there is no escape for Indians from further humiliation. Be braced for more music. It may be on somber notes though.

  • Dummy4 on December 7, 2013, 12:03 GMT

    Thats a bad news for India.

  • sri on December 7, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    He wished sports to play an important role in erasing the apartheid. We should remember that and continuing the sport would only be an honor to him. RIP Mandela!!

  • Dummy4 on December 7, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    I imagine it's what Madiba would have wanted

  • Pr on December 7, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    Feel sorry for is a big loss for all of us.wish people of sa go ahead with the spirit of mendela nd also all the nations.

  • Anup on December 7, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    India-South Africa test series should be called Gandhi-Mandela trophy.

  • Dummy4 on December 7, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    The biggest leader of 20th Century alongwith Mahatma Gandhi made impact to many lives worldwide. Formed ANC and worked truly and sincerely for his nation. Real peace lover. Afterall he is the biggest Sports lover and promoted the sports in South Africa. So it is good that the current series with India is ON alongwith other sports in South Africa. RIP ROHLIHLAHLA (NELSON) MANDELA 1918 JULY 18 to 2013 DEC 05.

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