Australia's cancellation of next month's three-Test tour of South Africa has prompted the prospective hosts to complain to the ICC ©Getty Images

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has lodged an official complaint over the indefinite postponement by Cricket Australia (CA) of next month’s three-Test tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Australia postponed their tour of South Africa earlier this month, citing "unacceptable health and safety risk" because of a COVID-19 variant outbreak in the prospective host country.

The decision virtually knocked South Africa out of contention from the World Test Championship (WTC) final later this year.

CSA, which has already said the postponement is "extremely" disappointing and will lead to "serious financial loss", has now approached the International Cricket Council's (ICC) dispute-resolution body, New India Express reports.

According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, CSA acting chief executive Pholetsi Moseki has written to the ICC asking it "to look into whether CA's cancellation amounts to acceptable or unacceptable non-compliance as per the WTC terms, bearing in mind that the series cannot be rescheduled before the end of the WTC window, which is April 30, 2021".

CSA also wants the game's governing body to check the health situation in South Africa to decide if Australia violated the ICC’s Future Tour Programmes (FTP) terms by postponing the tour.

Under ICC's FTP terms and conditions, member nations have an obligation to fulfil their commitments barring special circumstances, including Government instruction.

Citing a clause from WTC terms, Moseki wrote that it is for the independent experts from South Africa to decide the severity of health risks that forced Australia to postpone their tour.

"It would seem inappropriate to appoint a health and safety consultant outside of South Africa given that such an expert consultant would be unlikely to properly and accurately comprehend the Covid-19 related risks within South Africa and how they may be adequately managed," Moseki wrote.

"Given the nature of the pandemic, it will inevitably require location-specific advice."

In 2007 Australia decided against touring Zimbabwe on the advice of their Government on political grounds and in 2008 India decided against touring Pakistan due to political tensions.