BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Tuesday said India’s tour to South Africa remains on schedule and they’re keeping a close watch on the situation surrounding the emergence of the new Covid-19 variant.

There has been growing concern about the spread of the new Covid-19 variant, named Omicron, which was first reported in South Africa.

“The tour is on as things stand till now. We still have time to decide. The first Test is scheduled from December 17. We will ponder about it,” Ganguly told reporters on the sidelines of a promotional event.

India play the final Test against New Zealand in Mumbai and are scheduled to depart to Johannesburg from there on December 8 or 9 on a chartered flight.

“Players’ security and health has always been BCCI’s first priority, we will do everything possible for this. We will see what happens in the days to come.”

On the tour, India play three Tests, three ODIs and four T20s.

The former India captain also backed out-of-favour allrounder, Hardik Pandya, to regain his place in the side after returning to full fitness.

“He is a good cricketer. He’s not fit, that’s why he’s not there in the team. He’s young, I hope he makes a comeback after recovering from his injury.”

Recently, legendary Kapil Dev questioned Hardik Pandya’s role as an allrounder in the India team after he had stopped bowling following his back surgery.

“Don’t compare him (Hardik) with Kapil Dev. He belonged to a different league,” Ganguly concluded.