Australia's tour of South Africa postponed due to COVID-19

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Australia's cricket tour of South Africa has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cricket Australia said in a statement on Tuesday.

Australian players were scheduled to fly out this month for a three-Test series in March, but the touring side's cricket board said it had no choice but to postpone the trip due to the South African epidemic.

"It has become clear that travelling from Australia to South Africa at this current time poses an unacceptable level of health and safety risk to our players, support staff and the community," CA's interim Chief Executive Nick Hockley said in a statement.

"This decision has not been made lightly and we are extremely disappointed, especially given the importance of continuing international cricket at this time."

South Africa has recorded more than 1.45 million coronavirus cases and over 44,000 deaths. Since late last year, it has been battling a more transmissible variant of the virus.

Australia, where the spread of COVID-19 has been less acute, recently hosted a series against India that included three twenty20 internationals, three one-dayers and four Test matches.

"We look forward to playing the series against CSA at a date to be confirmed in due course," Hockley added.

South Africa hosted Sri Lanka for two tests around the turn of the year and their test side are currently touring Pakistan. 

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