South Africa is scheduled to play Bangladesh in a two-match Test series. But the dates of the series coincide with the Indian T20 Leagueâ€™s 15th season. Some reports say that the South African players are likely to prioritize the Indian T20 League over the Test Series against Bangladesh.
ESPNcricinfo has reported that the decision of playing in the Indian T20 League instead of the Test series against Bangladesh is unanimous. The South African Test players reportedly met with their coach, Mark Boucher. The meeting was an attempt on Boucherâ€™s part to make the players available for the Test series. Except for Kagiso Rabada, who could stay for the first Test, others are likely to leave for India.
The selectors of the national team of South Africa have, however, opted to name a full-strength squad for the ODI series, following the Test series. A CSA insider was heard saying that their agreement of releasing players for the Indian T20 League with the BCCI is still the same.
â€œThe original agreement with the BCCI was that we would release our players for the Indian T20 League. But the Indian T20 League window has gotten bigger, and our agreement remains the same,â€ the source said.
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) March 8, 2022
Anrich Nortje will certainly be missing the Tests against Bangladesh. But his availability for the Indian T20 League is also in doubt. Other frontline pacers of South Africa are part of the different franchises in the Indian T20 League. Rabada has been secured by the Punjab franchise, Lungi Ngidi is a part of Delhi while Marco Jansen is in the Hyderabad squad. This means that if Rabada decides to fly to India, South Africa will be left searching for players in their reserve bench to put up a respectable pace attack.
Dean Elgar reminds the players about the importance of national duty
The South African cricket board (CSA) has left it to the players to decide between playing in the Indian T20 League or the Bangladesh Test series. South African Test captain was heard expressing his opinion on the same. In his opinion, this will be the â€˜litmus test of loyaltyâ€™.
â€œJust this morning I got off a call with the respective personnel at CSA to try and give us a guideline as to whether the players will be available or not. The outcome of that meeting is that the players need to give CSA an indication whether theyâ€™re keen to go to the Indian T20 League or if theyâ€™re keen to play for the Test side. Itâ€™s a tough one leaving that up to the players, but this is how weâ€™ll see where their loyalty lies. They mustnâ€™t forget that Test and one-day cricket got them into the Indian T20 League, not the other way around,â€ As Elgar was quoted by Cricbuzz.
Notably, Lutho Sipamla and Lizaad Williams will probably be seen leading the bowling attack for the Proteas against Bangladesh in the Tests. While Sipamla has played only three tests, Williams has only been playing limited overs cricket till now.