Former Australia captain Steve Waugh has raised concerns over the future of Test cricket after South Africa named a second-string squad for their upcoming Test tour of New Zealand. The Proteas will play two Tests against the Kiwis, with uncapped batter Niel Brand will lead the side consisting of just three players — Keegan Petersen, David Bedingham and Zubayr Hamza — from the ongoing home series against South Africa. The top South African cricketers are contracted to play in the second season of the SA20, the T20 league launched by CSA and Indian Premier League investors, which clashes with the tour.
According to a CSA ruling, no player contracted to SA20 franchises is eligible for selection for the Tests.
Taking to Instagram, Waugh has slammed the International Cricket Council and top cricket boards, including the BCCI, for not caring about Test cricket.
The 1999 World Cup-winning captain, Waugh, vouched for equal match fee for all Test players as a step towards securing the future of Test cricket.
“Is this a defining moment in the death of test cricket. Surely the ICC along the cricket boards of India , England and Australia must step in to protect the purest form of the game. A premium ,equal match fee for all test players might be a good starting point History and tradition must count for something. If we stand by and allow profits to be the defining criteria the legacy of Bradman , Grace and Sobers will be irrelevant,” Waugh posted on Instagram.
Despite having to travel with a makeshift squad, Proteas Test coach Shukri Conrad said he was confident that the team would be competitive.
“The players selected for this tour have every chance of challenging New Zealand,” said Conrad, who pointed out that most of the players had shown their ability while playing for South Africa A in recent series against West Indies A and India A.
Brand, 27, was born in Johannesburg but went to high school in England at King’s College, Taunton.
He has a solid first-class record with 2906 runs at an average of 39.27. He is also a capable left-arm orthodox spin bowler who has taken 72 wickets at an average of 30.81.
South African squad:
Neil Brand (capt), David Bedingham, Ruan de Swardt, Clyde Fortuin (wkt), Zubayr Hamza, Tshepo Moreki, Mihlali Mpongwana, Duanne Olivier, Dane Paterson, Keegan Petersen, Dane Piedt, Raynard van Tonder, Shaun von Berg, Khaya Zondo.
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