ICL: Indian Cricket League

McLaren withdraws from South Africa squad


South Africa’s move to bring Kent allrounder Ryan McLaren into the national side has failed after the county did not release him from his three-year contract. McLaren, who’s on a Kolpak deal until 2010, has withdrawn from the ODI squad to face Kenya and Bangladesh.

“We are obviously disappointed that Ryan has had to withdraw,” Cricket South Africa chief executive Gerald Majola said, “but there is nothing more that we can do about it”.

McLaren, along with Rory Kleinveldt - another Kolpak player - was one of the new names in South Africa’s squad for the upcoming home series.

“We are not going to replace him in the ODI squad for the two matches against Kenya as 13 players should be sufficient,” Majola said. “We will re-assess the position before the ODI series against Bangladesh by which time we will have had a good look at the additional players who will be joining our training camp in Kimberley.”

South Africa’s recent ODI debacle in England - they lost 4-0 - prompted coach Mickey Arthur to suggest they would try and lure back Kolpaks. McLaren was the prime target, with his all-round skills making him an ideal player in the shorter formats of the game.

However, Kent are keen to keep McLaren at the county, especially with their relegation in the County Championship. Under the Kolpak ruling, South Africans can play for English counties as though they are European Union citizens, but the same does not apply to players turning out for the national team, which means Kent would have had to release McLaren.

“We fully appreciate and understand Ryan’s request to be released by Kent for the remainder of his contract to play for South Africa, but we are not in a position to agree to his request for numerous reasons,” Paul Millman, the Kent chief executive, said. “The main reason being that Ryan is a key player and Kent have built the team around him. This has become even more relevant because of our demotion to the second division of the County Championship.”

A disappointed McLaren thanked the national selectors for picking him in the team, but said he would respect Kent’s decision. McLaren will turn out for the Eagles in South Africa’s domestic one-day and Twenty20 competitions.

South Africa play two ODIs against Kenya, starting October 31, before facing Bangladesh for two Tests, three ODIs and a one-off Twenty20 international from November 5-30.

Source:Cricket News

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