Former South Africa spinner Johan Botha has come out of retirement to ply his trade for Hobart Hurricanes in the upcoming season of Big Bash League. Hurricanes would miss the services of their star spinner Sandeep Lamichhane for the early part of the tournament as the Nepal star has been sidelined after recently contracting COVID-19 .
Johan Botha got his Australian citizenship in 2016. Consequently, the 38-year old, who is on the coaching roster for Tasmania, will qualify as a local player and be available for the first game.
“It was a choice between ‘Do I further my coaching career, or do I miss the first couple of games (as an assistant) in the Pakistan Super League?'” Johan Botha said.
“I figured I’m as fit as I’ve ever been, and I feel I can still make a contribution to the team. I’ve missed playing but I didn’t really want to put it out there and say ‘can you pick me’ in case it didn’t work out. So we kept it quiet from when we first chatted about it at the Shield hub in Adelaide, and it slowly built up from there,” he added.
Johan Botha is not new to playing in the BBL, having previously played for Hurricanes as well as Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Sixers. The off-spinner has ample experience at the highest stage of the game. He represented South Africa in over 100 games across formats and picked up a total of 126 wickets.
Tom Curran withdraws:
In another development, Tom Curran has become the latest England player to withdraw from the upcoming Big Bash League in order to spend time with his family. Curran’s decision follows that of his teammate Tom Banton, who pulled out citing “bubble fatigue.”
Tom Curran has been in and out of bio-bubbles since July, having first featured in the English summer before flying out to the UAE for the IPL which was followed by the ongoing tour of South Africa with the England squad. Tom Curran was set to play for Sydney Sixers after Christmas.
“I’m really sorry not to be playing in this year’s Big Bash,” Curran said. “As you’ll already know, it’s been a very challenging year and I’ve been in bubbles since July.
“I feel very lucky to play for the Sixers, I have loved my time with you all over the last two seasons and I can promise you, this decision was not taken lightly. I will hopefully be back for many years to come, recharged and ready to go again, but for now I just need some time, normality, see family and be home.
“Wishing the team, fans, the staff, and everyone associated with the Sixers the very best of luck for this year’s Big Bash. I’ll be following closely and cheering you on,” he added.