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Reports: BCCI denied to release South Africa players from the IPL

The likes of Faf du Plessis and Imran Tahir are currently a part of the T20 extravaganza.

Ottis Gibson
South African coach Ottis Gibson. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The World Cup is set to start in three weeks time with South Africa and hosts England facing each other in the opening game at the Kennington Oval in London on Thursday, May 30. However, the Indian Premier League (IPL) is also taking place and some of the key players who are supposed to give their teams an edge in the mega event are also playing the cash-rich T20 tournament in India.

Prior to the start of the IPL, the cricket boards of Australia and England mentioned that their players will report back for World Cup preparations by the end of April in order to prepare for the tournament. The likes of Jos Buttler, David Warner, Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow returned to their respective countries. In the meantime, it has been learned that even South Africa wanted their gun players back, but they weren’t allowed.

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As per reports in Times Live, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) bullied them into backing down. Head coach Ottis Gibson wanted their charges back by the first week of May and his request was forwarded to Thabang Moroe, the CSA’s chief executive. Thereafter, it went to acting chief operating officer‚ Naasei Appiah, for putting it to the counterparts in the BCCI.

Cricket South Africa spokesperson denies the events

The Indian board responded by saying that it would cancel the three ODIs they had mooted playing on their tour to South Africa in December 2021 and January 2022, when they are scheduled for three Tests and as many T20s. The offer might be too good for the CSA to refuse.

But the CSA denied this version of the event. “That’s not true at all,” a CSA spokesperson was quoted as saying. Taking about Gibson’s wanting the players early, the official said: “We are not aware of such a request made to the executive.”

“Our understanding is that, as is the case with New Zealand‚ the Windies‚ etcetera‚ we as CSA do our best to assist our players in maximising their IPL income. It is only Australia and England who can afford to pull their players out,” the spokesperson added.

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