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Updated January 3rd, 2024 at 16:15 IST

After Steve Waugh criticism, Cricket South Africa responds with straight-forward statement

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has asserted it remains ''fully committed'' to both international cricket and the domestic SA20 tournament as it defended naming a shadow side for the Test tour of New Zealand, which has faced heavy backlash from current and former players.

South Africa defeated India by an inning and 32 runs in the first Test to take an 1-0 lead in the two match series
South Africa defeated India by an inning and 32 runs in the first Test to take an 1-0 lead in the two match series | Image:AP
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Cricket South Africa (CSA) has asserted it remains ''fully committed'' to both international cricket and the domestic SA20 tournament as it defended naming a shadow side for the Test tour of New Zealand, which has faced heavy backlash from current and former players.

South Africa named as many as seven uncapped players, including a new captain, for the two-Test series, while top South African cricketers will play the second season of the SA20 -- launched by CSA and IPL investors last year -- which clashes with the tour.

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''The Board of Cricket South Africa notes the concerns about the composition of the Test squad that will be travelling to New Zealand later this month. We reassure the fans that CSA has the utmost respect for the Test format as the pinnacle of the game we love.

''CSA remains fully committed to international cricket and to strengthening the SA20, a tournament that was initiated by us to help grow and sustain the game,''CSA said in a statement.

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CSA added that the dates for the New Zealand tour were fixed as per the ICC's Future Tours Programme (FTP) for 2023-2027, which was prepared in 2022, much before the SA20 was launched.

''The dates for this (New Zealand) tour were set when the Future Tours Programme (FTP) for 2023-2027 was finalised in 2022. The window for the SA20 had not been determined at that stage. ''Once it became apparent that there would be a clash, we made every effort to find another mutually suitable time-slot for this 2 Test series in consultation with New Zealand Cricket,'' said CSA.

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''Regrettably the constraints imposed by the global cricket calendar rendered this impossible, as the games must be played before April 2025 as part of the World Test Championship.'' Former Australian skipper Steve Waugh had slammed CSA's decision while Dean Elgar, who will play his final Test on Wednesday, had also expressed his disgust. But CSA have expressed confidence in the touring side, saying it will be an opportunity for the uncapped players to showcase their talent.

''We commend head coach, Shukri Conrad and his staff for preparing the selected players for this tour, and we are confident that they will represent the Proteas badge with honour. We wish them all the very best. It is an opportunity to demonstrate the depth of talent that we have in South Africa.'' CSA also assured that it will avoid a similar situation in future.

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''Our schedule for the remainder of the FTP has been managed to ensure that there will not be any further clashes between our bilateral commitments and the SA20, a tournament that was initiated by us to help grow and sustain the game.''

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Published January 3rd, 2024 at 15:05 IST

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