IPL 2019: Cricket South Africa still undecided over release of players for the tournament
"An outcome is expected on this soon,"- CSA official.
Updated - Mar 16, 2019 9:19 pm
International teams are feeling more conservative about their players ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 because of the ICC World Cup following it. Nobody wants their players to risk injury in the T20 tournament starting March 23 and South Africa is one such side which is yet undecided over the time to release their players for the IPL. Proteas captain Faf du Plessis has time and again expressed concern over his players’ fitness and playing the two-month long tournament could make him and his country’s board more apprehensive over the freshness and fitness of players they pick for the quadrennial event.
South Africa are currently playing their final international series before the WC and it is against Sri Lanka. After suffering a shock 0-2 loss in the Test series, the Proteas pocketed the five-match ODI and are set to play a three-game T20I series against the same opponents later. Though the T20I series will conclude on March 24 and Cricket South Africa (CSA) wants the players to finish the series before leaving for the IPL, the cricketers themselves want to be present on the IPL stage from the very first day onwards.
Top heads meet in Cape Town to decide on players’ release
Gulf News cited reports that quoted a CSA official as saying that the board’s CEO, Thabang Moroe, president Chris Nenzani and national coach Ottis Gibson were meeting at the Newlands Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday to finalise the date of releasing the players. South Africa were playing Sri Lanka at the venue in the fifth and final game of the series they were leading 4-0.
“The three are meeting in Newlands today and will decide on when the Proteas players will be released for the IPL. While there is no doubt that the players are keen to be a part of the T20 league, it is also true that they are committed to play for the country. An outcome is expected on this soon,” the official said.
“The South African players are currently busy with international commitments as the team is playing the last of the 5-match ODI series on Saturday and will then play three T20Is. The last T20I ends on March 24, so it will not be possible for those picked in the T20I squad for the Lanka series to come before March 25.”
South Africa have won their last five ODI series and will head for the World Cup with confidence. However, it is the fitness that could remain their concern for the big tournament. Meanwhile, it was learned that the BCCI is likely to release the remaining fixture of the IPL (after April 5) on Monday at the meeting of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) in Mumbai.