New Zealand in South Africa 2012-13

De Villiers suspended for rest of NZ series

Firdose Moonda

January 20, 2013

Comments: 39 | Text size: A | A

AB de Villiers attempts to smash a delivery, Sri Lanka v South Africa, World Twenty20 2012, Group C, Hambantota, September 22, 2012
AB de Villiers has been penalised for his side's slow over rate © Associated Press
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South Africa will be without their ODI captain, AB de Villiers, for the rest of the series against New Zealand. De Villiers was suspended for two matches after a slow over rate in the first one-dayer in Paarl while the entire South Africa team were fined 100% of their match fees. Faf du Plessis will lead the side in de Villiers' absence and Dolphins batsman David Miller has been called up as a replacement batsman.

The match referee, David Boon, judged that South Africa were six overs short of their target. According to the ICC's Code of Conduct, a captain receives two suspension points for a serious over-rate offence (more than two overs short). Players are fined 10% of match fees for the first two overs that go over time and for every additional over the side fails to bowl, the players are fined a further 20%. Two suspension points is the equivalent of a Test match or two ODIs.

De Villiers pleaded guilty to the transgression. "We accept that the over rate was slow and we know that anything above two overs is regarded as a serious offence," Mohammed Moosajee, South Africa's team manager, told ESPNCricinfo.

Moosajee cited various reasons for the extra time South Africa needed but did not name the power failure at the ground as one of them. An electrical outage caused the scoreboard, amongst other things, to go down during New Zealand's innings but de Villiers said the umpires did a "good job" of keeping everyone informed on the state of the game. "It was very hot, in the upper thirties throughout the day with no wind in the afternoon," Moosajee said. "AB is also a new captain and getting used to the pace of the game. But we take full responsibility for the slow over rate."

Ironically, team management hoped to use this series to allow de Villiers to become more accustomed to captaincy and so took the wicketkeeping gloves away from him. De Villiers has been in the job for 18 months since July 2011 and has captained South Africa in two five-match ODI series (against Sri Lanka and England), a Twenty20 series against England and the World T20 in Sri Lanka. Still, he felt he needed to develop a better understanding of leadership, which will now have to wait for the limited-overs series against Pakistan in February-March.

De Villiers stood in the covers for most of the first match and felt it gave him a better grip on the game. "I missed the keeping a bit because I really got used to it in the Test matches but it was enjoyable to be out in the field," he said. "I had time to communicate with the bowlers and get the fields right." In the aftermath, it would seem he used up too much time in doing that.

Defending a small target of 208, de Villiers needed to position his fielders carefully and South Africa able to take the match down to the wire. Immediately afterwards, he said he was pleased with the way the bowlers fought back after a sub-standard performance with the bat.

"We were under pressure and we probably should not even have come close," he said. "The bowlers did everything they could. They got nine wickets today, where we should have lost by seven or eight wickets. We didn't get enough runs. Not batting the 50 overs in ODI cricket is obviously a sin. We put the bowlers under a lot of pressure and they responded really well. We are still finding our way and finding that team spirit that we want and we're not far away from winning close games like this."

South Africa's ODI building phase will now take a backseat as they prioritise victory in two must-win matches if they hope to win the series. Already, they are without the rested Jacques Kallis and JP Duminy, who is recovering from injury. With de Villiers also out, the batting line-up lacks experience.

Hashim Amla, the designated vice-captain, asked not to be considered for the captaincy in order to focus on his batting, CSA selection convener, Andrew Hudson, said. Du Plessis lead South Africa to a 2-1 win in the T20 series over New Zealand last month, when de Villiers was resting.

"Losing AB for the remainder of the series is obviously a big blow to us, particularly as he is still growing in the captaincy and needs every opportunity ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy in the middle of the year," Hudson said. "At the same time it is an opportunity for David Miller who has been on the fringes of our 50-overs thinking. He is a superb finisher who had a strike rate of 98 in the domestic competition and also did very well for Yorkshire in last year's England domestic T20 competition."

When de Villiers makes his return, he will be monitored closely. If he is guilty of slow over rates in the next 12 months, he would receive between two and eight suspension points, which would see him missing out on a significant number of ODIs - and with the Champions Trophy looming, South Africa will not want to risk that.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by quittthewhinging on (January 21, 2013, 21:08 GMT)

This whole fiasco is going to come back to bite other teams yet & when that happens their officials might not grovel like SA's have. Did Moosajee at least enquire how Boon's assessment was arrived at? SA bowled 15 wides & 3 no-balls & this means that they rebowled 18 deliveries or 3 overs. Now is the match referee saying that SA were 6 overs short in addition to these 3 rebowled overs? If so, AB was seriously remiss in assessing the ongoing situation. I remember Rory Kleinveldt bowling 3 wides in one over. Did AB remonstrate with him? He certainly should have. I'm beginning to see why teams are using "surrogate" captains to take the rap in case something like this happens.

Posted by SHAIKH_1982 on (January 21, 2013, 18:24 GMT)

The ICC needs to get the fingers out and tackle issues that actually have a baring on the match played rather than something so trival.

Posted by mahjut on (January 21, 2013, 12:38 GMT)

A 'full' SA ODI team of [Smith, Amla, Kallis, AB, Faf, JP, de Kock, Johan Botha*, Morne, Dale and Tsotsie] would be hard to beat. Rotation is probably vital these days, but only two a match (and only one when you already have a 'first' team player injured). otherwise, well played NZ, but hope SA come back strongly next match...

Posted by quittthewhinging on (January 21, 2013, 10:59 GMT)

@ marktc. Well, is doesn't really make sense to say they bowled well and then refer to the 31 extras. In fact any bowling unit conceding 31 extras including 15 wides & some no balls in a total of 209 bowled poorly. So for AB to say they did well is nonsense. I agree that AB is not the best candidate for captain but who would you suggest as WK? de Kock made no errors that I saw & most certainly is the best long term solution as WK. Personally I think given a little time he could push hard for a place purely as a batsman. I'd much rather have him than Elgar any day.

Posted by Marktc on (January 21, 2013, 9:59 GMT)

Some interesting thoughts coming out of this. AB to me is not the best candidate for captain. Faf should have a longer run and see his results. The slow over rate ban is pretty daft. Fines of up to 50% of their match fee, but 100%? South Africa were well short and yes, they bowled well...and if thy had not conceeded those 31 extras, we may have one. De Kock also is not my behind the stump choice. Funny how a cricket team can be the most awesome test unit..and an average one day side.

Posted by anver777 on (January 21, 2013, 9:43 GMT)

Playing without their ace player AB will give, NZ has a chance of a rare series win against Proteas..... already 1/0 NZ will surely go all out in the 2nd game to clinch the consolation series win, after their extremely poor effort in Tests !!!!

Posted by Kirstenfan on (January 21, 2013, 8:32 GMT)

AB is a highly talented cricketer, but clearly he has seriously struggled with captaincy, he just doesn't seem to be able to control things on the field (and I'm not talking about results, which you can't control) - there have been a few examples, including the World T20 vs Pak when he bowled Kallis and Morkel instead of Botha and especially this last match.

I know he is learning, but at what price and does he actually have the ability to be an international captain?

I say we shouldn't over burden him, let him play as a specialist batsman, let Faf captain the ODI side and let's try to resolve the wicket keeping issue, which seems to be a mess and not driven by clear agreement and roles.

Posted by PureTom on (January 21, 2013, 6:41 GMT)

Odd that no mention is made of NZ over rate. I watched the first innings (sadly) and there is no way NZ were on target to bowl 50 overs by the scheduled break. Have they also been punished? Or only SA?

Posted by Cricket_theBestGame on (January 20, 2013, 23:18 GMT)

i agree with others that this rule is just pathetic! slow overrate so what. then banning the captain for 2 matches and fining the team 100% match fee! what deh? is ICC really fallen that cheap to start making money of player's fee. also what are umpires doing on the field? shouldn't they hurry up the captain?

the best rule would be if a side is guilty of slow over rate, penalise them 5 runs for every over they are slow. throw away this stupid rule of banning and fining captains/players !! wake up icc !

Posted by nickcarter on (January 20, 2013, 23:06 GMT)

Best chance nz are ever going to get . Don't think dale will get rested s.a won't want to loose A series to nz

Posted by Soso_killer on (January 20, 2013, 21:24 GMT)

South Africa are toast, NZ have just won this series. Dale is likely to be rested for the next match with Morkel coming in.

Congratulations NZ on your 1st series victory in SA, you wont be hearing any excuses from me. Cherish this victory as not many teams come here and get a result. Well done

Posted by   on (January 20, 2013, 21:22 GMT)

After the first ODI I was half annoyed with South Africa and half happy for NZ, but now that AB has been banned 2 games I just want us to thump NZ in the remaining 2 games.

Posted by quittthewhinging on (January 20, 2013, 20:40 GMT)

So Francois du Plessis is now the captain. They should keep him there permanently.

Posted by Robeli on (January 20, 2013, 20:13 GMT)

Mr ICC, telll me, by suspending a captain for 2 games, how will this solve the 'so called slow overate' problem? All you have succeeded in is depriving the cricket fans from seeing a worldclass player like AB playing!

Posted by quittthewhinging on (January 20, 2013, 19:50 GMT)

AB should consult Brendan McCallum for advice in the art of making excuses after losing a match. lol. Amazingly he doesn't even mention the fact that SA gave away 31 extras (out of 209), including 15 wides and some no-balls. Donald, as bowling coach, doesn't seem to be doing such a good job.

Posted by Surajdon9 on (January 20, 2013, 19:48 GMT)

AB is Great.Can anyone said CSA will going to appeal or not against the decision.This overrate law is Just a Damn....

Posted by tententen on (January 20, 2013, 18:23 GMT)

NZ likely to win this series. Look at the SA batting lineup its worse than NZ

Posted by CaptainKool on (January 20, 2013, 17:26 GMT)

Well it's good to see AB there. I thought MSD is the only one who can be there in the list.

Posted by sirvivfan on (January 20, 2013, 17:17 GMT)

I am pakistan supporter, I love watching this South African team play. In fact I am a supporter of them after my team. Very harsh to get banned for 2 games..... For serious issues like dissent and bad mouthing they don't get banned! I just cannot understand who makes these rules. Surely if weather is very hot,,power failure etc, they are good enough reasons!

Posted by   on (January 20, 2013, 15:58 GMT)

ABD is not a good leader. He is a grt batsman and a good keeper. This is the right time for SA to find a good replacement of Smith. ABD,s record as captain is very poor so far. He talks to much does little. Due to his poor captaincy, SA is losing ODI's. His batting even went down.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 20, 2013, 15:44 GMT)

Is this a rotation policy under a different name? Seriously, far better for the Boks to have him ready for the real cricket, rather than a meaningless ODI series.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (January 20, 2013, 14:50 GMT)

Outrageous that he has been banned for 2 games. NZ are definetly in with a strong shout of winning the series. The only reason worth watching and ODI is watching AB tear an attack apart - big loss. Interesting question as to who will be the replacement Captain, will it be Smith or Faff>???

Posted by KunzMan on (January 20, 2013, 14:30 GMT)

Harsh punishment I must say. Although rules are rules. The dozen odd wides didn't help. Plus the time taken by catch referral of Franklin (Who was out imo) when the score was 140/7 might have taken time as it wasn't a decision referral. Anyway, happy to see Miller in now.

Amla should demote to 3 and Smith should open with Ingram. Morkel in for Steyn. I am not too worried about the performances and results in ODIs atleast for this year. Time to aim @ 2015 (to make a team that CAN win big matches in WC2015 :p)

Posted by letsgoproteas on (January 20, 2013, 14:26 GMT)

anyone that thinks ab is average is just an 1diot :D

Posted by im52923 on (January 20, 2013, 13:23 GMT)

@REZMATA are u running out of your mind calling AB good for none.. he is captain and look at there team ranking in ODI i think u r new to the world of Cricket plus he is a star batsman, star fielder, star keeper... captaincy ... he is new to that and ll learn.. do re re re read your comments b4 u post ...

Posted by TripleCenturian on (January 20, 2013, 12:57 GMT)

Cricket is an entertainment industry and rules like this are in place to treat the paying public fairly. They after all have forked out good money to watch and a slow over rate diminishes the entertainment factor. It's funny how the South African management have fully accepted the punishment yet the posters below seem in the main to think the rule is wrong and its depriving the public of seeing the top players. Frankly, that's de Villiers own fault and in this instance he did not even have the gloves to slow him down. TV replays, referrals etc, weather breaks are all accounted for in the calculation and its not as though South Africa were even close to reaching an acceptable level anyway. Good luck to Miller too. He may now play enough games to be eligible to play as an overseas player for Yorkshire again this summer!

Posted by sorer01 on (January 20, 2013, 11:52 GMT)

Seems wierd, this sanction totally surprizes me! But fair is fair! Rules are rules! But some of the comments are a bit over the top! Seiously, AB hogging everything? Let's show some respect for the guy! he is a great player! and we all love to watch the game! Let's not make personal comments!

Posted by jmcilhinney on (January 20, 2013, 11:16 GMT)

Under the circumstances, it's not a huge surprise that the over-rate was slow and it's a shame for de Villiers but everyone knew the rules beforehand so they should not be surprised at the outcome. It sounds like SA and de Villiers are taking it on the chin like professionals, which is good to see. I'm sure that NZ won't be upset and, with their tails up after a win, may be tough in the next game.

Posted by Gordo85 on (January 20, 2013, 10:58 GMT)

Well it looks like Hashim will take over. I think it will do him the world of good having more practice.

Posted by StaalBurgher on (January 20, 2013, 10:58 GMT)

I am a bit confused. Did the power outage cause them to lose time? And if so are they saying that it was not taken into account? Not that it matters, these are only ODIs. Not a bad thing that AB gets to rest up for the Tests.

Posted by rezmata on (January 20, 2013, 10:27 GMT)

Serves AB right for hoggin everything( keepin, lead bat, capt). He was never keeper material and his captancy lacks plan-B. He once admired to be a Ponting (in terms of betting), which he could have easily. But he became too ambitious hoggin everything, so he's a jack of all traits but good at none;(

Posted by D.Sharma on (January 20, 2013, 10:17 GMT)

For those of you that a supporting de Villiers because he is a 'top' player is just plain wrong. He should be penalised just as much as the 'mediocre' players do. However, missing two matches is harsh.

Posted by kingsmead_mamba on (January 20, 2013, 9:53 GMT)

these games are already devalued without nz best batsman now sa best batsman forced out. Crazy.

Posted by loki897 on (January 20, 2013, 9:45 GMT)

Seriously guys. 100% How is that going to encourage cricket?

Posted by Safalicious on (January 20, 2013, 9:37 GMT)

Suspending him for 2 matches seems harsh. How does that compare to Shane Warne's punishment for bringing the game into disrepute?

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 20, 2013, 9:09 GMT)

It's stupid to deprive us fans of seeing top players like DeVilliers. Depriving the entire team of their match fees (as they have also done) will soon sort out the problem. But there were quite a few delays here due to tv replays (and queries over replays during the power failure) so I hope these are taken into account. What we don't need are situations like the recent Warne fiasco (and SL in the T20WC) where people pretend not to be captain to avoid a ban.

And lucky we already have another keeper...

Posted by philvic on (January 20, 2013, 8:51 GMT)

DeVilliers is probably relieved to have found an honorourable way out of this pointless ODI series

Posted by DeckChairand6pack on (January 20, 2013, 8:50 GMT)

Dem's the rules, AB can have no complaints. He quite rightly took it on the chin and pleaded guilty. We will be back, I predict the Proteas to win the remaining games.

Posted by DeepakSarathy on (January 20, 2013, 8:50 GMT)

100%??!!! wow, seems excessive...

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