IPL makes South Africans’ itinerary tighter

May 2nd, 2008 - 1:15 pm ICT by admin  

By Fakir Hassen
Johannesburg, May 2 (IANS) The South African cricketers will not get much rest at home before the national team embarks on a tour of England next month, largely due to some of them playing in the lucrative Indian Professional League (IPL). But the South African team management is not unduly concerned about this as all but four of the players who drew the recent three-match Test series in India continue with their IPL commitments. They include captain Graeme Smith.

The South African players will return home at the end of the IPL final June 1 and will get just a few weeks’ rest before they meet for a training camp in Durban prior to their departure to England in June end. South Africa will play four Tests, five One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20 matches against England.

But while the South Africans vie for attention in the IPL, the English will, in the same period, have played three Tests and five ODIs against New Zealand. Commentators here feel that the series against the Kiwis would give England an edge against the Proteas.

South African assistant coach Vincent Barnes did not agree.

“You play so much that you can’t, as in the past, play a few practice games,” Barnes told the Afrikaans daily Beeld here Thursday.

Confirming that South Africans would play two three-day warm-up matches, against Somerset and Middlesex, Barnes said it would be easier for the visitors to get used to the cold English conditions than the hot weather of the Indian subcontinent.

“Although one has to get used to the pitches, the climate (in England) is at least not so much a problem as on the subcontinent, so one can adapt quickly,” Barnes said.

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