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at the Union Buildings in Pretoria

Let the Proteas rest

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The Proteas will play India in a T20 match on March 30.

I don’t see the point of the March 30 T20 International at the Wanderers between India and South Africa.

Let me add that the charitable initiatives being planned around the match are fabulous; Cricket South Africa donating money to the Jacques Kallis Scholarship Foundation and Kallis making a personal contribution to Yuvraj Singh’s Foundation. Who wouldn’t want to support those causes?

As for the match itself though, it leaves me cold.

“This is a wonderful way to welcome our Proteas home from New Zealand after what has been an extremely successful tour so far,” was the spin CSA’s chief executive Gerald Majola tried to put on the match. Excuse me Mr Majola but wouldn’t giving the players a bit of a break be a better welcome?

This hastily arranged match, which comes just three days after the third Test against New Zealand is due to finish, makes a mockery out of the coaching staff’s attempts to give the players a rest during the summer.

Remember how Kallis missed the last three ODIs against Sri Lanka to take a break, Dale Steyn sat out the last two matches of that series, a number of Proteas including Alviro Petersen were then told to rest at a crucial phase of the SuperSport Series because the players needed to be managed due to the heavy workload which they face this year.

Well, Cricket SA just added to the workload, and in doing so they have shown a total disregard for the national players – who are supposedly CSA’s most valuable commodity.

And what of MiWay Insurance, who stepped in at the last minute to lend its name to the domestic 20-over competition?

What should be the marquee match of the MiWayT20 Challenge, its final, has just been shunted aside to accommodate an event sponsored by a news-paper whose managing editor sits on Cricket South Africa’s Board of Directors.

That final originally scheduled for March 30 has been moved to April 1 (no jokes about Cricket SA and fools please) and much of the lustre of playing in a final will be lost.

What would have been a week spent building up to the final of a domestic competition in the sport’s most popular format and shining a spotlight on young players outside of the national side will now be over-whelmed by the hype of an international T20 match.

No doubt the usual administrators will make money from TV deals and whatnot and a full house will turn up at the Wan-derers, but it is another indict-ment of an organisation that it jumps so quickly at the smell of money that it screws the domestic game and makes a sham of the national side. – The Star


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