Coach gets his squad

2008-02-12 00:00

South Africa announced their squad to tour Bangladesh yesterday after a week of disagreements among the country’s cricket officials.

The squad, who are scheduled to leave for Bangladesh tomorrow, should have been named last Tuesday.

Disputes between the selectors and the president of Cricket South Africa (CSA), Norman Arendse, who is required to approve the squad, held up the process.

CSA’s transformation policy sets a target of seven black players in a squad of 15. However, the squad presented to Arendse last week — and finally issued by the CSA yesterday — contains only four black players.

“The players believe that the integrity of the selection process has been kept intact by the fact that the squad for Bangladesh is in fact the squad selected by the selectors,” the chief executive of the SA Cricketers’ Association, Tony Irish, told Reuters.

Arendse wanted less experienced players to be given an opportunity against minnows Bangladesh, while the selectors wanted a full-strength squad to adjust to sub-continental conditions ahead of South Africa’s tour of India.

The dispute reached a crisis on Saturday when CSA’s general council, cricket’s highest authority in South Africa, sacked coach Mickey Arthur as a selector.

Arthur was hastily re-instated following the intervention of CSA chief executive Gerald Majola, who pointed out that Arthur’s status as a selector is stipulated in his contract.

Arendse has also asked the general council to investigate charges of bringing the game into disrepute against Arthur for comments attributed to him in the media.

— Reuters.

Squad: Graeme Smith (captain), Ashwell Prince, Hashim Amla, Johan Botha, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Paul Harris, Jacques Kallis, Neil McKenzie, Morne Morkel, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini, Dale Steyn.

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