Ryan McLaren has been forced to withdraw from the South African squad to face Bangladesh and Kenya after being refused permission by Kent to end his Kolpak contract. The Eagles and Kent all rounder, who was called up to the Protea’s squad for the first time, had been earmarked to attempt to fill the void left in the ODI team by Shaun Pollocks retirement, a void that was fully exposed in the hammering the Proteas received in the ODI series against England in August. McLaren has been told by Kent that he will not be released from his Kolpak contract, which has two years left on it, meaning that he is unable to play international cricket for that period. CSA have said that they are disappointed, but there is little that they can do now. McLarens case was not helped by Kents relegation to Division Two in England, which made them reluctant to lose one of their best players as they attempt to regain promotion to the top division. The development is bad for both McLaren and South Africa, with the player showing form that should be rewarded with a place on the international stage, and the national team losing yet another quality player needed to help them catch Australia at the top of the cricket table.
In South African domestic cricket, the Eagles, without McLaren for this match, were bowled out by the Warriors for 28 in their four day Supersport Series match. The score was the lowest in South African domestic cricket since the formation of franchise cricket, and the 4th lowest score ever in South African cricket. The Warriors heroes were Makaya Ntini, in his first game since being left out of the Protea’s ODI squad, with 5/9 from 11 overs and new ball partner Tsotsobe with 4/3 from 8 overs. South Africa have chosen basically the same Test team that has done business for the last season for the two Tests against Bangladesh, which is an indication on the how serious they take their opposition, but it would have been an ideal time to blood a young player like Tsotsobe, who will play for South Africa in the future.
Ntini has expressed disappointment and not been contacted before the announcement of the ODI squad for the series against Kenya and Bangladesh, a squad he has been left out of. The opening bowler said that neither coach Mickey Arthur nor captain Graeme Smith got in touch with him to let him know he had been dropped. Arthur said there were attempts to reach Ntini, and that he left him four messages when he could not be contacted. Lack of communication has been a blight in South African cricket, and has led to the team losing players such as Andrew Hall to international cricket.
Dr Mtutuzeli Nyoka is the only nomination for president of CSA’s board of directors, which is due to be formed later this month.
Former South African Test batsman Peter Kirsten will join Kenya on a short term deal as a batting coach. Kirsten joins younger brother Andy on the Kenyan coaching staff.