South African cricket captain Graeme Smith has declined an offer to play for English county side Warwickshire in the winter break that has just started here, preferring to rest and prepare for the tasks ahead that include a visit by India.
‘I could have gone to play for Warwickshire if I wanted to. I believe (national administrative authority) Cricket South Africa would have allowed me to, but I decided to stay, to rest and begin preparations for the new season,’ Smith told the Afrikaans weekly Rapport here.
Earlier this year, Smith also rejected an offer to play for Somerset, where he played a few weeks in the last season, helping the English side beat Australia in a one-day game.
Cricket authorities have taken a hard line in not allowing pacemen Makhaya Ntini, Andre Nel and Dale Steyn to play in England in the off-season here, but have been more lenient with the batsmen.
Some commentators believe that allowing batsmen like Smith and opener Herschelle Gibbs to play in English county games could provide them with an opportunity to regain their form.
Gibbs was dropped from the national squad in the final games against visitors New Zealand in the past fortnight to make room for South Africa’s first national cap of Indian origin, Hashim Amla.
Cricket South Africa has already granted permission to all-rounder Andrew Hall and Justin Kemp, a member of the national one-day team, to play in England.
Kemp hit 124 not out for English county team Kent on Friday, but neither that nor a knock of 82 by another South African, Martin van Jaarsveld, could save the match from ending undecided.
Source:India SportsMore on:Graeme Smith, Somerset, South Africa, Warwickshire
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Friday, May 19th, 2006 and is filed under General.
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