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Updated January 12th, 2024 at 18:49 IST

Why Virat, Rohit, Jadeja or Bumrah don't play in SA20? Mark Boucher says 'it's above my pay grade'

Taking the SA20 to India in future could be "great" despite the logistical challenges such a move may involve, feels former South Africa cricketer Mark Boucher. Like the IPL 2009 was held in South Africa due to general elections in India, Boucher admitted the SA20 could be organised in India.

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma | Image:BCCI/IPL
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Taking the SA20 to India in future could be "great" despite the logistical challenges such a move may involve, feels former South Africa cricketer Mark Boucher.

Like the 2009 edition of the IPL was held in South Africa due to general elections in India, Boucher admitted the SA20 could be organised in the cricket-crazy Asian nation in the near future.

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"I think it's a great idea; I'm not against it. The IPL happened in South Africa, and we can do the same, as both cricketing nations share a great relationship," Boucher said during a virtual media interaction on Friday.

"Although the challenges of playing in India will be different, it will still be great. Maybe Graeme Smith (SA20 commissioner) can work on it," he added.

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'IPL has boosted youngsters in India' 

The ongoing SA20 season has seen all the major South African stars participating in the competition.

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Boucher said that although the opening season of SA20 was a trial, it follows the same principles as the IPL, where the aim is to give a platform for young cricketers to express themselves.

"The first edition was a success despite being a trial one; the crowd came in large numbers to watch high-quality cricket. The one thing we can learn from the IPL is how it has boosted the youngsters in India, and that's exactly what we are trying to do here.

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"It still might take a couple of seasons to put us on the map, but I am confident of it helping and boosting South African cricket, just like the IPL's high-performance cricket." The current SA20 is clashing with South Africa's upcoming Test tour of New Zealand, where a second-string side will be taking part, a move criticised by many in the cricket fraternity.

Speaking on the same, Boucher expressed concerns and felt that scheduling does need to get better in the coming years.

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"Something has to be done; we need to get the scheduling right. Our best players are playing in the league (SA20), which is needed for it to be a success.

"This tournament was on the cards for a long time, so there should have been discussions with New Zealand to reschedule the tour. Test cricket is the ultimate format of the game, and you want the best teams playing against each other." Boucher also hoped to see Indian players' participation in the future editions of SA20.

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The tournament has six teams and all of them are owned by IPL franchises.

"Not sure why (Indians are not playing in SA20). Cannot answer it since it's above my pay grade. Maybe we will see them in the future.

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"But we cannot blame or question the BCCI about it. Look at the product (IPL) they have created." The current SA20 season is clashing with South Africa's upcoming Test tour of New Zealand, where a second-string side will be taking part, a move criticised by many in the cricket fraternity.

Speaking on the same, Boucher expressed concerns and felt the game's stakeholders will need to get the scheduling better in the coming years.

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"Something has to be done; we need to get the scheduling right. Our best players are playing in the league (SA20), which is needed for it to be a success.

"This tournament was on the cards for a long time, so there should have been discussions with New Zealand to reschedule the tour. Test cricket is the ultimate format of the game, and you want the best teams playing against each other.

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"Some guys are disappointed at not playing Test cricket against New Zealand. But, this league has changed the lives of many South African cricketers; they are getting paid more. South Africa cricket needs this league." 

“ODIs might disappear in future”

With many T20 leagues coming up across the globe, international cricket and its scheduling have taken a hit.

And, when asked if cricket is following the path of football, where clubs have great importance, Boucher agreed with it.

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However, he warned that the T20 leagues could wipe out ODI cricket entirely, despite having hosted a successful World Cup last year in India.

"Yeah, it's going that way because people are making more money out of it. But, I hope that the players keep focusing on Test cricket." "With so much of cricket being played around, one format will suffer, which seems to be the ODIs. And, despite having a successful (ODI) World Cup (last year), the format might disappear in the future," Boucher concluded. 

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Published January 12th, 2024 at 18:49 IST

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