Majority of South African players including Kagiso Rabada
, Anrich Nortje
, David Miller
and Aiden Markram
will join their respective IPL teams in India only on April 3, four days after the tournament begins
on March 31. ESPNcricinfo has learnt that Cricket South Africa (CSA) informed the BCCI that it wants all its top players available for the two-match home ODI series against the Netherlands starting late March.
CSA has taken the step because South Africa need to beat Netherlands in the series to directly qualify for the 2023 World Cup
later this year in India. Netherlands this week announced a strong squad
for the series in Zimbabwe followed by the ODIs in South Africa. Both those series are part of the ODI Super League with the South Africa games scheduled on March 31 and April 2 in Benoni and Johannesburg respectively.
As many as six of the 10 IPL franchises will be affected by the development. Sunrisers Hyderabad (Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, Marco Jansen), Delhi Capitals (Nortje, Lungi Ngidi), Mumbai Indians (Tristan Stubbs, possibly Dewald Brevis), defending champions Gujarat Titans (Miller), Lucknow Super Giants (Quinton de Kock), Punjab Kings (Rabada) have South Africa players in the side.
Last December, a day before the IPL auction, the BCCI, in a note to the franchises on overseas players’ availability, had informed that contracted South African players would be available from March 29, two days prior to the IPL opener. However, CSA’s chief executive officer Pholetsi Moseki told ESPNcricinfo that BCCI has been given an explanation as to why it was mandatory for South African contracted players to feature in the Netherlands series.
The top eight teams in the ODI Super League automatically qualify for the 2023 World Cup while the bottom five will have to play the World Cup Qualifiers along with five Associate teams. South Africa, currently at No. 9
, are in a race along with West Indies, Sri Lanka and Ireland to book a direct World Cup entry. “The BCCI understands the importance of the Netherlands series to us automatically qualifying for the 2023 World Cup,” Moseki said.
This is not the first time CSA has had to deal with the IPL clashing with a home bilateral series. Last March, South Africa’s Test series against Bangladesh clashed with the start of the tournament, but CSA had then asked the players to take the call on whether to stay back or head to India. The players chose to be fully available for the IPL, but this time CSA was left with no choice but to field the best team as the World Cup berth is at stake.
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