Chennai: Ten South Africa A players have been hospitalised due to "food poisoning", including four today after playing their tri-series cricket match against India A here, the visiting team management said.
Opener Quinton de Kock, who hit 108 in his side's eight- wicket loss, was rushed to a city hospital after the game, while three others were also hospitalised during the course of the match.
Cricket South Africa also issued a press release, saying that currently 10 of their players are in hospital.
"With half of the squad going down ill overnight South Africa was forced to play (against India A today) an ill- balanced starting XI that had only four frontline bowlers with the likes of Dean Elgar and Khaya Zondo to make up the rest of the overs," the CSA said.
"Reeza Hendricks, Zondo and Mthokozisi Shezi were all on the sick list but had to play because there was nobody else available but all three had to be hospitalised during the course of the match. The same applied to De Kock who was hospitalised after the match," the release said.
In fact, de Kock had to be rushed into action less than 24 hours after arriving in India as six of his teammates were also on the sick bed.
Due to the hospitalisation of the players, India A will replace South Africa A in tomorrow's tri-series match against Australia A.
"South Africa A were due to play Australia A tomorrow but in the circumstances (10 in hospital) this match has been put back to Tuesday," the CSA said.
It has been learnt from sources that South Africa 'A' team management requested India A coach Rahul Dravid for a change in schedule as at least six of their players are not fit to take the field against Australia A tomorrow.
Dravid accepted their request and thus India A, instead of playing on Tuesday, will now play tomorrow against the Aussies.
The plight of the South African side was understandable when India A team's 12th man Mandeep Singh came in to field after de Kock suffered a hamstring pull.
Even before that South Africa A's video analyst Hendrikus Coertzen was seen fielding in place of left-arm seamer Mthokozisi Shezi, who fell ill.
South Africa A players Wayne Parnell, Beuran Hendricks, Cody Chetty, Cameron Delport, Mesha Maharaj had been hospitalised first. De Kock, who top-scored for the visitors today and fielded till 25 overs, then complained of dehydration. He was taken to Apollo hospital where others are admitted. Coach Vincent Barnes media officer Volvo are also on the sick list.
According to official sources, the South Africa A team members had spent couple of hours yesterday at Phoenix Mall and also dined there.