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September 1, 2007
Andrew Hall, the South African allrounder, has quit international cricket. He could become the latest prominent player to join the Indian Cricket League (ICL) in the wake of his sudden decision. He played 21 Tests and 88 ODIs since his debut in 1999.
Hall, 32, has told Cricket South Africa (CSA) in writing that he is no longer interested in playing for the country. Hall's abrupt move was probably prompted by his omission from South Africa's squad for the Twenty20 Championship later this month.
"He has handed in his resignation, as he calls it, to CSA," said Tony Irish, the South African Cricketers' Association chief executive. "This has taken everybody by complete surprise, including me."
Irish felt Hall had not made his decision wisely. "The way he has gone about this is wrong. We expect administrators to honour the terms of players' contracts, and the same goes for players. He might be disappointed at not making the squad, but what's the point of being contracted to CSA if you are going to pull-out halfway through?"
Like the rest of South Africa's centrally contracted players, Hall is signed up until the end of April. There can be little doubt that Hall is lining up the ICL as his next employer.
Cassim Docrat, KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union's (KZNCU) chief executive said on Saturday, "Why else would he want out of his CSA contract? He would still be paid by them even if he was only playing franchise cricket."
Hall was attached to the KZNCU's Dolphins franchise, but he only played one match for them last season because of international commitments. He also represented Kent in the county season and recently toured Zimbabwe with the South Africa A squad.
Meanwhile Damien Martyn, the former Australian batsman, has also been linked to the ICL and an official announcement is expected soon. Martyn retired from international cricket midway through the Ashes last year.
Telford Vice is a writer with the MWP media agency in South Africa.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge
Plays of the day from the tri-series match between Zimbabwe and South Africa