The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is in all likelihood banking on Cricket South Africa (CSA) director to mediate a solution for the availability of top South Africa players in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL 2022). Smith’s tenure as CSA director ends on March 31.
Some of the top South African cricketers are in danger of missing out on three weeks of IPL due to their home series against Bangladesh which includes three ODI and two Tests starting March 18 and ending on April 12. Even Test captain Dean Elgar has said that he will try to encourage Proteas players to pick national duty over IPL.
Only player to be safe from this conundrum is Quinton de Kock, who retired from Test cricket earlier this year. However, there is still a huge question mark over the availability of players like Kagiso Rabada (Punjab Kings), Nortje (DC), Marco Jansen (Sunrisers Hyderabad), and Lungi Ngidi (DC).
The BCCI Will Be Approaching Graeme Smith To Ensure South Africa Players Are Available For While IPL 2022: Reports
Apart from these players, there are also the likes of Dwayne Pretorius, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, and David Miller. The BCCI is expected to approach CSA director Graeme Smith to find a middle ground solution for this conundrum.
They will hope that BCCI’s decision of continuing with its A tour and then sent the senior team for three Tests followed by three ODIs in South Africa despite the third wave of Covid-19 pandemic and rising cases of Omicron variant, gets them enough leverage.
“The BCCI will be approaching Graeme Smith and check out if some of the top players are available at least a bit earlier. We are hopeful of a solution as we share great rapport with CSA. Some of the franchises will be hurt if they aren’t available for three weeks,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
As of now, the CSA has announced its 18-member ODI squad for the Bangladesh series and De Kock, Rabada, Markram, Ngidi, Jansen, Pretorius are part of the team.
The BCCI and CSA will have to work out a middle-of-the-road solution and there could be a possibility that some players leave after the first Test, which ends on March 4. Even then, the Test specialists, after three-day quarantine, will miss out on 12 days (nearly two weeks) which is effectively three IPL games at least.