The South African Test team is set to receive a huge blow as their players, who are part of the IPL franchises, will reportedly leave to play the IPL instead of the 2-match Test series against the visiting Bangladesh side.
As per ESPNcricinfo, it was a unanimous decision among the red-ball players to prefer the IPL over playing for the country. They were given an option by Cricket South Africa (CSA) to prefer either and the cash-rich league is where they will be.
“The original agreement with the BCCI was that we would release our players for the IPL. But the IPL window has gotten bigger, and our agreement remains the same,” an insider was quoted as saying to ESPNcricinfo.
As of now, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Marco Jansen, and Aiden Markram are the ones with IPL contracts and the ones who are planning to leave. Another frontline pacer, Anrich Nortje, is still unavailable due to a persistent back and hip injury.
How the South African bowling attack looks without frontline pacers
With the absence of these frontline seamers, the Proteas pace attack is rather inexperienced and will likely feature Lutho Sipamla, who has played three Tests so far, and Lizaad Williams, who is yet to make his debut in Test matches.
Fortunately, their spin attack is still intact with Keshav Maharaj and George Linde being available. Notably, Duanne Olivier will also be present and could be the lead pacer in the bowling attack.
Additionally, Mark Boucher and the team management are reportedly trying their best to convince the red-ball specialists to stay, at least for the first Test. However, it is unlikely to work as they have their sights set on the IPL 2022 season.