Nortje, Hendricks earn CSA contracts
Beuran Hendricks, Anrich Nortje, Rassie van der Dussen, Nadine de Klerk and Sinalo Jaftha were the major beneficiaries among this year’s group of players given national contracts for the 2020/21 season by Cricket South Africa on Monday.
Hendricks, was the only player to be granted a national contract for the first time, following a season in which he played a starring role in helping South Africa draw a T20 series against India followed five months later by a maiden Test ‘five-for’ on debut against England at the Wanderers.
De Klerk, who produced an outstanding performance in the T20 World Cup semi-final against Australia in Sydney, earned a contracted upgrade during the course of the season along with Jafta.
Nortje, Van der Dussen and Dwaine Pretorius also had their contracts upgraded during last season, with Nortje and Van der Dussen especially, establishing themselves as key players for the Proteas across all three formats. Perhaps the one player who could count himself unlucky to miss out on a contract this year is Heinrich Klaasen, who was the man of the series in the ODIs against Australia recently.
While there is no cricket taking place anywhere across the world at the moment - as is the case for every major sport - in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Cricket SA has put in place some form of foundation with the agreement of contracts. Monday’s announcement follows a series of meetings held by the federation at the weekend - including the Members Council and the Board of Directors. Besides finalising the national contracts, a decision about what to do concerning the outcomes of domestic competitions, abruptly ended by the suspension of the 2019/20 season, were also discussed and a final decision on that will be ratified this week.
With the whole world battling to slow down the spread of the Covid-19 virus strain, the exact nature of the cricket calendar for the next 12 months is uncertain. Already the Indian Premier League and the English domestic season have been postponed as were the South African mens’ One-Day International series in India and the women’s series against Australia.
In finalising contracts however, Cricket SA have maintained a view that those international series’ would still be played at some point as will the rest of the schedule, including the men’s T20 World Cup which is supposed to start on October 18 in Australia and the women’s 50-over World Cup which will take place in New Zealand next February.
“We have contracted 16 men’s players and 14 women’s players which we feel is the appropriate number to maintain our national squads across the various formats,” Cricket SA interim CEO, Jacques Faul said in a statement. “This enables us to contract both our Test players as well as those who are limited overs specialists.
“We have decided to keep the 17th men’s contract open for the moment and players can qualify for it through performance,” he added.
Besides rescheduling the three match ODI series against Australia, Dane van Niekerk’s side, also series away against the West Indies and England, both of which will likely be rescheduled.
As per usual the men’s team - many of whom are currently in a 14-day period of self-isolation after returning from India last week - has a fairly well-booked calendar too. Besides the T20 World Cup, they have home Test series’ against Sri Lanka and Australia, T20 matches against India and Pakistan, while the next scheduled assignment was a trip to the Caribbean in July for two Tests and five T20 Internationals against the West Indies.
CRICKET NATIONALLY CONTRACTED PLAYERS
MEN: Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen.
WOMEN: Trisha Chetty, Nadine de Klerk, Mignon du Preez, Shabnim Ismail, Sinalo Jafta, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Lizelle Lee, Sune Luus, Tumi Sekhukhune, Chloe Tryon, Dane van Niekerk, Laura Wolvaardt.