TELFORD VICE, Cape Town
DOING anything between April 3 and May 26 next year? If you’re one of nine prominent South African cricketers, no.
At least, not what you might have thought you would be doing. Those dates are when the 2017 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be played – and the nine South Africans are among the 63 players who have been released by their franchises.
They are Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir, Farhaan Behardien, Kyle Abbott, Albie Morkel, Marchant de Lange and David Wiese.
Steyn’s omission was expected. He is recovering from a broken shoulder and has said he will focus on returning to action for South Africa, possibly in June.
Morne Morkel, who has not played a competitive match since October because of a back injury, is in a similar position.
Seventeen bowlers in South Africa’s franchise T20 competition this season took more wickets than Tahir, who was 13th on the strike rate list and joint 15th in terms of economy rate, both among bowlers who played at least 10 games.
But, just back from a fine test tour of Australia, may wonder why he has lost his job.
Ditto Farhaan Behardien, who was the third-highest runscorer in the franchise T20.
At least they’re not alone – Kevin Pietersen, Mitchell Johnson, Eoin Morgan and Trent Boult have also been booted.
That said, any or all of the axed players could be back in the mix after the auction on February 4.
Not that a certain seven South Africans will be bothered by all that – Faf du Plessis, David Miller, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Quinton de Kock, Chris Morris and AB de Villiers are among the 140 players have been retained by their franchises.