No South African player apart from Imran Tahir will take part in this year's Caribbean Premier League, which is due to start on August 18. Rassie van der Dussen, Tabraiz Shamsi, Anrich Nortje, Rilee Rossouw and Colin Ingram were unable to confirm travel arrangements in time to be in Trinidad by August 1, when CPL organisers wanted all participating players to arrive in order to fulfil a 14-day quarantine period before the tournament begins.
While the CPL had organised a charter flight from London to Trinidad, the South African players were unable to get to the UK in time bearing in mind flight scarcity, visa requirements and the obligation to receive government permission. Tahir has not been in South Africa through the lockdown but in Pakistan, where he was playing in the PSL, and has been able to travel to the West Indies from there.
There will be no English players in the competition either, with Harry Gurney and Alex Hales both withdrawing after signing for Barbados Tridents. Both players had hoped to play the first handful of games before returning to the UK for the T20 Blast on August 27, but the requirement of a strict, 14-day quarantine period and the competition's respective dates prevented that from being a realistic option.
South Africa remains in lockdown with all provincial and international borders closed and is expected to only begin easing travel restrictions after the coronavirus pandemic peak passes at the end of September. That means the participation of South African players in the IPL is also awaiting logistical checks, chiefly government permission. Similar permission is being sought for the national women's team, who are due to play a series in England in September.
While Cricket South Africa will issue its players with no-objection certificates, and does not intend to organise any bilateral cricket during the IPL window, players will need to obtain permits to travel and will need to consider quarantine regulations. The tournament is expected to take place from September 19 to November 8, which could mean that South African players will be required to be away from home from early September until early November, given pre-tournament training and quarantines.
There is also the possibility that they will need to isolate for a further 14 days on their return home. As David Warner said, with families unlikely to be able to accompany players and tours made longer by quarantine periods, several players may need to consider their personal circumstances before committing to travel.
South Africa has ten players contracted with IPL teams, and two of them - AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis - have babies on the way. Earlier, three players missed the 3TC exhibition match. Chris Morris was unavailable for personal reasons, Kagiso Rabada missed the fixture following the death of a family member, and Quinton de Kock pulled out because a close family member tested positive for Covid-19. The men's team has not had any official training camps since the lockdown began in March but continue to train individually or at their franchise grounds.
Additional reporting: Matt Roller