Rabada on SA20-Test schedule clash: ‘It’s like hitting an ax in your foot’

The fast bowler feels the situation with players missing the Test tour due to SA20 commitments “remains unacceptable to this day”.

Rabada on SA20-Test schedule clash

South African fast bowler Kagiso Rabada says he is still saddened by the scheduling conflicts that forced him and other senior players out of the two-Test series against New Zealand earlier this year. He says he was not given the chance to have his say in the “unacceptable” mess.

Seven uncapped players were named for the series which was a part of the World Test Championship, with even the first-choice players included in the SA20 league on home soil.
Neil Brand, who captained the team in New Zealand, made his Test debut during the opening game at Mount Maunganui and the hosts won the series 2–0 as expected.

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Looking at that controversial episode, Rabada expressed hope that the players will not have to go through such unpleasant moments again.

“It was very unacceptable and continues to be unacceptable today. It was clearly a planning issue. It’s unacceptable, that’s all I will say about it,” Rabada, one of the game’s premier fast bowlers, told PTI in an interview. ” ,

Rabada, who is currently playing for Punjab Kings in the IPL, also offered strong support to South Africa’s uncapped players who have been put in that awkward position through no fault of their own.

“If I could go back to that point it’s not fair to go on the players. It’s not fair to say that players are being picked and they’ve got free Test caps. I don’t think it’s fair to level that criticism .The players were just told to go out there, and at the end of the day they weren’t going to say no.

“It’s a planning issue and it has to do with what’s happening at the highest level; what happened to Cricket South Africa. It was basically a double book, that’s what it was.” The presence of star South African players was vital to the success of the youth SA20 league and, as a result, Test cricket became a casualty.

“At the end of the day, because of the importance of the SA20 we haven’t really got an option to go there [New Zealand]. It’s like shooting ourselves in the foot,” said the 28-year-old considering Test cricket as the game’s number one. is the format.

“Cricket comes from Test cricket and from my perspective Test is the best format. I imagine all the great players who have played all formats would say that Test cricket is their favorite format. It’s the same for me.”

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Currently, India, England and Australia play the most red-ball games in the WTC cycle, including five-match Test series against each other.

“It is quite unfortunate when it comes to other countries except India, England and Australia,” Rabada said. “The way I see it, to become a powerful cricketing nation without the benefit of currency and TV rights, it is all about playing good cricket.

“The better you play, the more teams will want to play you. It’s very hard to argue why those countries would want to play each other because ultimately, it’s about maintaining the business of cricket which is To earn revenue and that’s how the game survives.

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“How do you include other countries playing Test cricket to the same extent…I’m not sure. If you are looking at prolonging Test cricket, if you want kids to keep playing Test cricket globally , so a plan has to be made.”

Rabada also lauded the BCCI’s recent move to encourage Test players, but felt that a lot more needs to be done.

“You pay cricketers well, but it is also a culture. It is not just about money because cricketers have money these days. They can earn enough money through the league.

The South African, who has taken 291 wickets in just 62 Test matches, said, “What the BCCI is doing to encourage Test players is great. But it is also a culture because all cricket comes from Test cricket.”

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