Former Proteas wicketkeeper-batter Mark Boucher showed disappointment with Cricket South Africa’s scheduling of SA20, which forced the best players to participate in the league instead of the Test series in New Zealand. The veteran also admitted that the players are not to be blamed for this situation as well.
However, Cricket South Africa (CSA) named an inexperienced squad for the two-match Test series against New Zealand next month, starting on February 4th at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. The 14-member squad has only 7 capped players, with an uncapped Neil Brand to lead them as well. However, Duanne Olivier remains the most experienced player with 15 Test matches as well.
Speaking to SportsBoom.com, Boucher said: “I’ll be honest with you. I am extremely disappointed [with the situation]. It’s got nothing to do with the players. You can’t blame the players who have been selected or the players who are not going. I think the scheduling needs to be really looked at by CSA, I don’t think it’s acceptable.”
He again added: “If I was New Zealand Cricket, I’d be quite disappointed. I understand them not wanting to pull out because the World Test Championship points are at stake. But I do think that we in South Africa need to sit down, have a hard look at ourselves at the scheduling and find a way to make it right.”
However, South Africa are currently third in the WTC points table, with 50% points as well. They won by an innings in Centurion against India, followed by an eight-wicket defeat within two days in Cape Town as well. Boucher further added that Test cricket is indispensable and that a T20 tournament should never get more importance over it.
“The SA20 is good for the public watching. It is very well supported, but we can’t have that in place of a Test series against a very, very strong New Zealand team away from home. So as a former player, and I know I’m not alone, there’re probably a lot of guys who would speak about it as passionately as me,” Mark Boucher concluded.