The 15th edition of the Indian T20 league is all set to coincide with South Africa’s series against Bangladesh. Although the three-match ODI series between both sides get over before the first game of the league, the Test series shall take place at the same time as the 2022 edition. Thus, it was unclear if the Proteas players would participate in the red-ball series, or play the Indian T20 league.
However, according to a report by ESPNcricinfo, the South African players have prioritized the biggest T20 league in the world ahead of their international commitments. The decision to play the cash-rich league instead of the two-match Test series was unanimous. This report further states that South Africa’s head coach Mark Boucher met all the red-ball players, and tried his best to pursue them to play the series against Bangladesh.
“The original agreement with the BCCI was that we would release our players for the ITL. But the ITL window has gotten bigger, and our agreement remains the same,” revealed a source. While Kagiso Rabada could be available to play the first Test, the others are expecting to travel to India in order to participate in the Indian T20 league.
If the Proteas paces does end up opting out of the series, then the team shall have a second-string attack. Besides, the likes of Lungi Ngidi and Marco Jansen would be representing Delhi and Hyderabad respectively. On the other hand, Anrich Nortje is yet to recover from his injury. He is certainly going to miss the series against Bangladesh, and there is a huge question mark over his participation in the cash-rich league.
Earlier, Proteas Test skipper Dean Elgar spoke about how he wanted all the players to be available for the Bangladesh series. He stated that this was a “litmus test of loyalty”. The opener also stated that it’s the longer versions of the game that helped them play the league in the first place.
“Just 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 they’re keen to go to the ITL or if they’re keen to play for the Test side. It’s a tough one leaving that up to the players, but this is how we’ll see where their loyalty lies. They mustn’t forget that Test and one-day cricket got them into the ITL, not the other way around,” said Dean Elgar.