Proteas star Kagiso Rabada puts South Africa ahead of IPL
JOHANNESBURG - Kagiso Rabada says the Proteas remain his priority and that the Indian Premier League will have to wait this year.
“The country comes first,” said South Africa’s premier fast bowler in response to reports in India about his availability for the start of the 2021 IPL.
Although no dates for the IPL have been announced yet, the tournament is set to start in April, which could see it clash with South Africa’s limited overs series’s against Pakistan. Given ‘bio bubble’ protocols, Rabada could miss more than just the first week.
The Pakistanis will play four T20 and three One-Day Internationals between April 2 and April 16, putting Rabada and some of the other South African participants in the IPL in danger of missing the start of the lucrative T20 league.
The Delhi Capitals, for which Rabada plays, have made inquiries with the Board of Control for Cricket in India about the availability of both Rabada and Anrich Nortje, but were, according to reports in India, still awaiting word about their players.
Rabada seemed to clear matters up on Thursday, in a media conference ahead of the Cricket SA T20 Challenge that starts on Friday, stating his availability for the Pakistan series’. “I might miss a week of IPL, but the country comes first.”
“Delhi has been my home in India, but national duty is a priority,” Rabada added.
The 25 year old has been a star for Delhi in the last two IPL tournaments. In 2019, his back injury, before the playoffs was extremely costly to their chances of progressing through to the end of the competition, while last year, he finished as the top wicket-taker - with 30 wickets in 17 matches - as Delhi finished runners-up to the Mumbai Indians..
Besides Rabada and Nortje, Faf du Plessis and Lungi Ngidi, who play for the Chennai franchise could also miss the first week or two of the IPL, should they be picked for the Pakistan series’s.