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Updated January 2nd, 2024 at 23:52 IST

It's not an ideal situation, Test's future in hands of administrators: Elgar

With nothing to lose on the eve of his final international outing, Dean Elgar didn't hold back while expressing his disgust about Cricket South Africa sending a third-string squad to New Zealand under an uncapped captain just because the series is coinciding with the cash-rich SA20.

Dean Elgar scores a century
Dean Elgar scores a century | Image:Disney Hotstar/X.com
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With nothing to lose on the eve of his final international outing, Dean Elgar didn't hold back while expressing his disgust about Cricket South Africa sending a third-string squad to New Zealand under an uncapped captain just because the series is coinciding with the cash-rich SA20.

It is a situation the 36-year-old Elgar, the stand-in captain for the second, and final, Test against India at Newlands, termed as "not ideal." "I still think Test cricket will have a future and in speaking to the younger guys in the dressing room, they still live for the format," Elgar said on Tuesday during his last pre-match conference.

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"The situation we've been put in from a cricketing fraternity perspective isn't ideal and maybe the team that's selected to go to New Zealand isn't ideal for the conversation of how I see Test cricket," Elgar was straightforward in his observations.

Neil Brand will lead the Proteas team with seven uncapped players and none with even 10 Test experience against a strong New Zealand side as Cricket South Africa (CSA) prioritised the SA20, whose franchises are run by IPL team investors.

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The move has been made with an aim to maintain the financial health of CSA.

While it is an opportunity for new players, Elgar said that the administrators will have to decide the course for the traditional format in this day and age.

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"It must be seen in that light as we can't control what happens behind the scenes. It is out of the players, coaches and team management's hands," he hit the nail on its head.

"We need to focus on what we can focus on and the guys going to New Zealand need to focus on that," the retiring skipper with over 5000 Test runs said.

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However, Elgar said that his decision to retire after the India series was a long and well-thought out one.

"I made my decision long ago. It was a couple of months back that I decided for this to be my last series," Elgar said.

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"Regardless of what happened behind the scenes, I had already made my bed and I'm sleeping in it quite nicely. The future is in the hands of the administrators in terms of making the right decisions for players and the longevity of our Test format and our Test team," he put the ball in CSA's court.

For Elgar, as long as he is around the system, he will remain a Test cricket fanatic.

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"A lot of people have a lot to say about our Test cricket from a negative perspective. Us as players, we need to go out there and win, show hunger for this format. As long as I am around, I will remain a Test fanatic," Elgar didn't mince words in stating where his priorities lay.

"A lot of our guys are Test fanatics, but we need opportunities to come our way, otherwise, the conversations are going to be continuous. It's up to the powers that be to make the right calls and I want to see the guys experience what I experienced in the past 12 years." Fixtures are important ============== The SA20 clashing with the Test tour of New Zealand indicates that the custodians of the game don't care about the fixtures.

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"The fixtures are vitally important from a cricketing and individual growth point of view," Elgar said.

"Guys need to be exposed more against powerhouse Test nations because you want to compete with the best from an individual and collective point of view." If the youngsters aren't exposed to Tests, they won't learn about the challenges, he said.

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"You want to have results in your favour, but also want to follow a process that Test cricket demands and when you're not getting exposure, you lose a bit.

"The more matches you play, the better the performances you put out and with more exposure, the more money will be paid for match fees.

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"Again, it'll boil down to administrators making the right decisions because it'll be sad for us playing just two Test in a series regularly.

"It's not a fitting way to learn about the format." 

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Published January 2nd, 2024 at 23:52 IST

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