South Africa prioritize new T20 league over direct World Cup qualification

JOHANNESBURG: Cricket South Africa (CSA) has confirmed the withdrawal from the bilateral ODI series against Australia scheduled in January to ensure the participation of in-form players for the new domestic T20 league colliding with the international fixtures.

Following the withdrawal from the bilateral series, South Africa’s hopes of direct qualification in the ICC Men’s World Cup 2023 have taken a backseat as the team will miss out on the crucial points in the Super League Standings.

“While we are saddened at losing the crucial points, we are confident that our in-form Proteas team will garner the requisite points through the remaining games to secure automatic qualification to the showpiece event in India next year,” CSA CEO Pholetsi Moseki said as quoted by International Cricket Council (ICC) on its official website.

South Africa currently occupy a precarious 11th spot in the Super League standings with just four wins from 13 matches. Only the top eight teams will qualify directly for next year’s 50-over tournament in India.

While CSA asked Cricket Australia (CA) to reschedule the three-match series in Australia to later dates so that it did not conflict with the league; however, CA stated that it was unable to do so due to its jam-packed schedule.

“In the case of the Australia tour, CSA reached out to its counterpart months ago to reschedule the tour to mutually aggregable dates. CSA offered four options to that effect. Unfortunately, and to our disappointment, none of these were acceptable to Cricket Australia,” Moseki said.

Moseki further announced that CSA had agreed to award the competition points to Australia.

READ: Abdullah shines with fifty as Pakistan finish draw against Sri Lanka Xl