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South Africans to miss IPL's first week
April 10, 2008 18:52 IST
Not ready to let its domestic tournaments suffer because of the Indian Premier League, Cricket South Africa has instructed its players to return home to play the semi-finals and final of the Standard Bank Pro20 tournament before competing in the IPL.
Accordingly, Graeme Smith [Images] and his colleagues will return after the third and final Test against India to play in the domestic tournament, which means they could miss the first week's action in the IPL, which gets underway on April 18.
"The players will be returning home to play in the semi-finals and final of the tournaments. The semi-finals are scheduled on April 18 and 19 and the final is on April 25," South African team's media manager Michael Owen-Smith said on Thursday.
Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis [Images], Ashwell Prince, Mark Boucher [Images], Makhaya Ntini [Images], Morne Morkel, Abraham de Villiers and Dale Steyn were originally allowed to stay back after the Kanpur Test. But realising that their absence would rob the tournament of its sheen, Cricket South Africa has instructed them to return home to complete domestic assignments.
"However, players whose team fails to make it to the final would be available to the IPL immediately after the semi-final," Owen-Smith added.