Spot-fixing controversy

South Africa play down UAE tour concerns

Telford Vice

September 19, 2010

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Senior figures in South African cricket have played down reports that allegations of spot-fixing marring Pakistan's tour of England had made South Africa's cricketers reluctant to play Pakistan in the UAE next month.

"I haven't heard anyone saying they won't play," Andrew Hudson, CSA's convenor of selectors, told ESPNcricinfo. "We should be announcing the squad next week, and it's business as usual."

When asked what he would do if, as reported in the UK's Sunday Telegraph, some of South Africa's senior players wanted to pull out of the tour, Hudson said, "If players don't want to play, I'll be happy to leave them out."

One of those senior players told ESPNcricinfo the South Africans, who are no strangers to the dangers of match-fixing in the wake of the Hansie Cronje scandal, were anxious that action should be taken against Pakistan if the spot-fixing allegations were proved. "As long as the right steps are taken, it will be OK to play against Pakistan," the player said. "But the ICC needs to eradicate this from the game because it's hurting all of us."

Despite his strongly expressed views, he ruled out players refusing to tour because of alleged corruption in the game. "I haven't heard guys saying they won't tour, and I'm fine to follow whatever advice we get from the ICC and Cricket South Africa."

Gerald Majola, CSA's chief executive, had told ESPNcricinfo that no player had expressed reservations to the board about participating in the series and there was no reason to call off the tour.

South Africa are scheduled to play a Twenty20 international, five ODIs and two Tests against Pakistan during a tour of the UAE starting on October 27 and ending on November 24.

Telford Vice is a freelance cricket writer in South Africa

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Telford Vice Telford Vice, crash-boom-out left-hand bat, sort-of legspinner, was never sure whether he was a cricket person. He thought he might be when he sidestepped a broken laptop and an utter dearth of experience to cover South Africa's first Test match in 22 years in Barbados in 1992. When he managed to complete Peter Kirsten's biography as well as retain what he calls his sanity, he pondered the question again. Similarly, when he made it through the 2007 World Cup - all of it, including the warm-up matches - his case for belonging to cricket's family felt stronger. But it was only when the World Twenty20 exploded gloriously into his life in 2007 that he knew he actually wanted to be a cricket person. Sort of ...
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