County news March 16, 2013

Steyn available for English T20

Dale Steyn, the South Africa fast bowler who tops the world Test rankings, is available to play Twenty20 cricket this summer after the end of the Champions Trophy.

Warwickshire were offered first refusal for Steyn, who enjoyed a successful stint at Edgbaston in 2007, but they have chosen not to go ahead, leaving the way open for other counties to consider the option.

At a time when England's FLt20 tournament is under pressure to match the appeal of more hyped tournaments elsewhere, and when an ECB committee is considering how a relaunched tournament next season can succeed, the thought of Steyn not being snapped up is hard to imagine.

But Steyn's lofty salary expectations were a factor for Warwickshire and he could be deemed unaffordable by the few other counties who have yet to sign the maximum number of two overseas players for the competition.

Finances are tight at Edgbaston. The club recently negotiated a freeze in their repayment plan with the council and saw a naming-rights deal - also with Birmingham City Council - collapse at the last moment.

Warwickshire also have a policy of fielding just one overseas player in the T20. The club have already committed themselves to New Zealand's offspinner Jeetan Patel for the entire season and contended that signing a second overseas player for a short period could disrupt the dressing room and reduce the opportunities for homegrown players.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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  • Dummy4 on March 17, 2013, 19:58 GMT

    @ Sanjiyan

    It's code for "we're broke". Much like my dear Hampshire "focusing on exciting home grown talent".

  • Sanjay on March 17, 2013, 19:22 GMT

    It's all to do with finances, I'm surprised to read about the possible side effects of dressing room DISharmony. However, remember, Steyn has played for Warwicks in the past, that's why they had 1st refusal.

    @stez: Even if we had made it past the initial round, we wouldn't have prospered, we don't have a good T20 side. There's a huge amount of money to be made in T20 so the county should give it proper importance. We defn need naming rights, easy money for nothing really. They can call it whatever, the fans will always refer to the venue as "Edgbaston". Forget Bham City Council, we should be able to do better - Emirates is the one we should be going after and they fly out of Bham Airport too.

  • Luke on March 16, 2013, 18:31 GMT

    Warwicks had only 1 overseas player in the T20 last season. But for the weather they would probably have made the knockout stages. They also won the championship - which is more valued by English players than the T20 title - with a steeled dressing room. Good decision not to pay over the odds for Steyn. Come on you bears!

  • Dummy4 on March 16, 2013, 11:57 GMT

    Munkeymomo: I'm not sure we have filled up our spots for the T20. You're allowed two for the competition, and I thought that Rehman wasn't coming until after the T20 tournament. If that's the case, hopefully Steyn will enjoy playing with his South African teammate in Taunton. We do have a history of singing quality overseas players (especially from SA!), maybe Steyn can be the next?

  • Mark on March 16, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    @Sanjiyan: Agreed, that's a strange last sentance. Chances are that teams will sign two overseas players anyway, so it's not really reducing anyones chances. Daft. I kinda wish Somerset hadn't filled their spots now. Rather Steyn than Petersen, provided he was available for finals day.

  • Walter on March 16, 2013, 8:11 GMT

    Disrupt the dressing room and reduce the opportunities for homegrown players? How does that work? Steyns singular class and proffesionalism overawes everyone so much that they decide to try a different sport? Its not like England have lots of high class fast bowling options(according to Geoff Boycott). If hes too expensive, fair deal but refusing him is losing an opportunity to tap into his experience and teach the young speedsters a thing or 2.

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