KSA backfires after criticism of ‘weakened’ touring team

Henry

Cricket South Africa (KSA) has hit back at what it describes as “concern” about the country sending a weakened team to New Zealand and now argues that alternative dates for the series could not be agreed upon.

“We assure fans that KSA holds the Test format in the highest awe as the pinnacle of the game we love,” the organization said in a statement.

Only seven players who have previously played in Tests are in the 14-man squad for the two Tests in March (and only two of them played in the first Test against India last week) because KSA prefers the SA20, a T20 franchise competition.

Saturday’s announcement of the team has drawn criticism, especially from former Australian captain Steve Waugh, who says the team shows a lack of respect for New Zealand cricket.

“If I was New Zealand, I wouldn’t even have taken part in the series,” he said.

KSA admits that the dates for the tour to New Zealand were determined before the SA20 schedule was drawn up.

“After it became clear that there would be a clash, we made every effort to find a mutually convenient time for the two-Test series in collaboration with Cricket New Zealand.

“Unfortunately, the restrictions caused by the international cricket calendar made this impossible.”

According to the statement, there will be no further conflicts between South Africa’s bilateral commitments and the SA20 – a “tournament that we have launched to help us grow and sustain the game” – says KSA.

KSA also praised test coach Shukri Conrad for his preparation of a team that the organization believes will “represent the Protea emblem with honour”.