Cricket South Africa seems set on supplementing their potential income over the next few weeks by fining their players. With just days to go before the opening match of the T20 World Cup between South Africa and the West Indies there seems to be no end in sight to the battle between the players and administrators in the game in South Africa.
Following on from the Jacques Kallis saga, which lead to Mark Boucher being fined half his match fee from every game he plays in the forthcoming competition for speaking out against the omission of Kallis, to Andrew Hall making himself unavailable for South Africa and rumours of him signing up for the ICL, comes the news that Loots Bosman has been charged by CSA for breaching CSA’s rules and conduct.
Bosman, the South African opening batsman, was withdrawn from the T20 squad on the basis of a back injury he sustained when he crashed into an advertising board in Zimbabwe. Bosman responded to his withdrawal in a newspaper article which appeared in the Beeld on Wednesday where he said
“I am fine, ask my physiotherapist in Bloemfontein who treated me last week. I am very, very, disappointed. Mickey [Arthur] tells too many lies.”
Mickey Arthur, the South African coach, responded to Bosmans claims that the CSA’s medical advice was suspect in the same article, saying
“It is understandable that he would be disappointed,” said Arthur, “but his reactions are very immature and I am disappointed how he has handled this.”
Bosman has been one of the leading Pro20 batsman in South African domestic franchise cricket with an impressive average of 32,33 in 23 matches at a strike rate of 147,93 including a top score of 104 and 3 fifties. His international T20 record is as impressive with an average of 38,5 in 3 matches and a top score of 53 not out. As one of the most experienced 20/20 players in South African cricket Bosman was expected to play a major role in the upcoming tournament for the host nation. He has been replaced in the squad by fast bowler Andre Nel.
The replacement of a batsman by a fast bowler is suspect given the nature of things between CSA and the players. While many had been hoping that Jacques Kallis would be the man called up to replace Bosman, the more obvious and warranted choice would have been Morne van Wky. The Eagles batsman, and franchise team mate of Bosman, has been the domestic limited over and Pro20 batsman of the season over the last few seasons, and was unlucky not to be included in the initial squad. Following South Africa’s warm up series in Zimbabwe it was decided that the the bowling lacked an edge and the opportunity to call up Nel was taken at the earliest opportunity.
Another view on the Nel call up could be that he has been included to ensure he does not follow in the footsteps of Andrew Hall who resigned from the national team following his exclusion from the T20 squad. Nel and Hall were South Africa’s best bowlers at the World Cup in the West Indies earlier this year.
There is clearly problems in South African cricket, with mistrust and lack of communication between the players and administrators causing new problems each week. The South African cricket team will have to come together in spite of this if they are to win the T20 World Cup in the coming weeks, and unite the team and country, and forget about their problems – for a couple of weeks at least.