The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has hit back at accusations from South Africa's Western Province cricket officials who blamed the Covid-19 positive cases in the English camp on the visiting team's players for breaching the biosecure environment for a practice session on Thursday.
Western Province informed Cricket South Africa, ECB and the local police that they should not be held liable for the safety or health of the England team, who opted to practice in an out-of-bounds nets facility adjoining a construction site.
In response, an ECB spokesman said that the session had arisen due to the unacceptable standard of the three practice pitches provided on the square at Newlands, the cricket venue in Cape Town.
The spokesman added that CSA had accepted England's request to put a security cordon to facilitate the use of nets like it was done during the T20I series on November 28.
"On arrival at Newlands on 3 December, we advised the venue that the three nets provided on the main pitch were not of a standard for conducive practice, as per the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the respective boards. Batsmen were unable to face seam bowlers on the nets on the main pitch as the surfaces were rendered and unacceptable," the spokesman was quoted as saying in a report by ESPNCricinfo.
"We requested with CSA that we would like to use the practice nets and that we would create a security cordon to ensure the players and coaches could enter the facility safely, as done previously on 28 November. This was confirmed by England's Security Team, the Team Operations Manager and the Team Doctor. We were satisfied with this outcome and we were able to practice in the net facility safely," the spokesman added.