Australia’s cricket board said on Wednesday it had asked authorities about the timeline for COVID-19 vaccinations as part of its planning for the South Africa tour, amid debate over whether athletes should be given priority access in the rollout.

Australia named a squad on Wednesday for the three-Test tour which is expected to kick off later next month, though dates and venues are yet to be confirmed.

South Africa has recorded more than 1.4 million COVID-19 cases and 41,000 deaths, out of more than 3.4 million cases and 86,000 deaths in Africa.

Australia approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use on Monday and begins its vaccine rollout in February.

“We obviously sought some clarification on the vaccine timeline here in Australia, just to understand how that would overlay with our tours,” Cricket Australia executive Ben Oliver told reporters in a video conference.


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