South Africa without first-choice pace attack for the Home Test series against Bangladesh

South Africa without first-choice pace attack for the Home Test series against Bangladesh

Khaya Zondo, a middle-order batter, recevied his maiden Test call-up, and medium-pacer Lizaad Williams also earned a spot in the 15-member South Africa squad for the two-match home Test series against Bangladesh.

While these two are the big positives, the main news is quite different. The Proteas will be without their regular-choice pace attack – which were Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Marco Jansen. If this was not enough, in-form batters Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen have also pulled out of the test series. These players have opted to play the biggest t20 league in the world instead – IPL. Cricket South Africa had said in a statement that the decision would be entirely of the players, without any sort of pressure or persuasion from the board. Test Captain Dean Elgar had called this a ‘litmus test of loyalty’.

The players opting to play IPL will fly to India for the tournament, which begins on March 26, after the ODI series ends. According to CSA’s current MoU with the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA), the board cannot deny players the opportunity to feature in the tournament, as both organizations look to balance the livelihoods and opportunities of players and their services to the national team.

This decision should have been sorted out earlier – Bavuma

“Having all your assets at your disposal is obviously something that, as a captain, you would like,” Test vice-captain Temba Bavuma said earlier in the day. “Am I happy? Of course. It’s a far from ideal situation. From the point of view of a player who is not affected by the IPL, we would have liked this decision to have been dealt with a lot earlier and with a lot more urgency. On the eve of a one-day series, and with a Test squad due to be announced, we’re still not sure what is happening. We could have learnt from previous years.”

“The loss of the IPL players is not ideal, but we back the CSA system, its ever-growing pipeline and most of all, the players we have selected,” CSA convenor of selectors Victor Mpitsang said. “Every member of the team is selected based on the excellence that they have shown over an extended period of time and there is no better opportunity for them than now, to show us what they have to offer the Proteas on this highly anticipated occasion.”

Avishkar Govardhane is a Sports Editor and enthusiast, working here at Clout News covering the latest Cricket News.