South Africa news March 5, 2013

SA seek root of T20 toil

The lack of a major franchise tournament capable of attracting the best players in the world could be undermining the international side
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The scuppering of the proposed Southern Premier League competition almost four years ago could be behind South Africa's struggles in Twenty20 cricket.

Administrators and players alike identified the absence of a high-profile tournament as being one of the reasons South Africa lags behind in the shortest format, following their defeat to Pakistan on Sunday. Not only did the loss cost them the series in embarrassing fashion as they were bowled out for their lowest total, but it brought South Africa's T20 tactics into question.

The answers may lie in the lack of development in the country's 20-over game caused by the aborted tournament. Before T20 leagues began mushrooming, the boards of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand were in talks to start a Super Rugby-style 20-over competition, combining the clout of their three domestic markets.

The plan failed for three reasons, the biggest being the IPL. None of the boards wanted to compete with the Indian tournament but all of them needed Indian players for it to be successful, which the BCCI does not allow. There was also the issue of finding a window and managing the massive logistics involved in playing across three countries with wide time differences.

Instead, South Africa settled for a share in the Champions League T20. Australia did the same but also went ahead with the Big Bash (which later became the Big Bash League), while New Zealand remained as they were. All three continued to supply players for the IPL, with South Africa contributing the third-most (after India and Australia). They all also continued to try and entice foreign heavyweights to play in their tournaments, with Australia having the most success and South Africa the most frustration.

As a result, the South African domestic T20 event is largely low profile, with few big names. "The rand as a currency is not great so what we can offer these guys is not much compared to what they would get elsewhere," Jacques Faul, the former CSA acting CEO, said.

While that may not seem crucial at face value, it has had some effect. Faf du Plessis, South Africa's T20 captain, said the knowledge transfer from internationals to local players aids development and cited Mike Hussey as having an influence on his career rise through their involvement at Chennai Super Kings. Since last year's IPL, du Plessis' stocks have risen considerably. Similarly, the Lions CEO, Cassim Docrat, praised the impact Sohail Tanvir and Dirk Nannes had on their young bowlers such as Chris Morris and Hardus Viljoen.

In the current Ram Slam tournament, there are six overseas players: Tanvir, Samit Patel, Azhar Mahmood, Owais Shah, Ravi Bopara and Scott Styris. The most popular name on the radar was Chris Gayle, who signed for the Dolphins last season for a fee that was thought to be R1 million (US$111,111), but never arrived because of injury.

Other marquee T20 players are often too expensive or otherwise occupied and so cannot participate. Indications are that South Africa will soon come up with greater amounts of cash to entice them, in the aftermath of the bonus scandal.

"We are going to make some decisions that people will question but it is because we are planning for the World T20 next year"
Faf du Plessis

That is not the only thing being looked at to revitalise the domestic tournament. Marc Jury, CSA's commercial manager, said the upcoming winter will be used to "repackage" the event. "We accept that South Africa has lost ground domestically because other countries have started creating unique content for their T20 competition and ours is something very similar to the 50-over game," he said.

From a marketing perspective, CSA will look at "moving away from too many midweek games" and may even consider introducing double and triple-headers. "We need to bring the carnival atmosphere back in," Jury said.

Stadium attendances have improved over the last season, primarily because of the lure of seeing the No. 1 Test side in the world and also because CSA has taken the game to smaller centres such as Paarl, East London and Potchefstroom. With that in mind, there is a strong chance people could be lured back to live cricket.

The other aspect that will convince them is quality. South Africa's woeful display against Pakistan was an extreme example, especially as it equalled their biggest loss in the format, but it illustrated why some stay away. The unsettled nature of the squad, a batting order that still succumbs under pressure and resting of their best players are other reasons.

But du Plessis explained South Africa have a vision for the future. "We are going to make some decisions that people will question but it is because we are planning for the World T20 next year," he said. "There is no point we use all our more experienced players in the lead-up if they are not going to play for us then. We are trying a few things."

To some, it may seem as though the experiment has never stopped. T20 remains the least successful version of the game for South Africa. They have lost 37.5% of matches, compared with 34% in ODIs and 33% in Tests, and are currently ranked sixth. Although their win percentage is fractionally higher than any other team, they have never won a knockout match in four editions of the World Twenty20 and lost all of their Super Eight games in Sri Lanka last year.

As the search for major tournament silverware continues, South Africa's main source of their concern comes from the domestic set-up, which has been so effective in dishing up ready-made Test players but seems unable to do the same in the shorter versions. Unless they can move on from their shattered SPL dreams quickly, the pipeline will continue to leak instead of flow smoothly.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | March 6, 2013, 20:47 GMT

    Talk about lack of big events? Pakistan hasn't played at home for the last four years. Their local t20 tournament takes only a week to finish. All the matches are played in the same stadium. They get paid the least of all the test playing nations. They don't play in IPL and only a couple of players go to Australia for the big bash. They have played only two games in CL history. Still they come out as one of the best t20 teams going around. So I don't buy this philosophy of SA think tank that lack of high profile tournaments is the reason behind their t20 demise. Their players play IPL,CL and their own t20 tournament which is also very competitive. Relating the performance of players to the amount of money they make is a joke IMO. It is all about the talent, flair and mental strength of the players that make them better not the money. SA have got talented players. Just stick with them and give them longer stay at the international level even if they fail they would only get better.

  • POSTED BY Bongz77 on | March 6, 2013, 17:04 GMT

    Have to disagree with this article. 70% of T20 is still a coin toss. It takes one 5'er or a score of 70+ in quick time to win a game. Little application, its basically a 50 over game on speed.

    Pakistan and the West Indies are arguably the most exciting and successful T20 nations out there. No big league there. People should not read into this format that intensively, you must ask yourself this: how many of you watch T20 for the a) Cricketing Value or b) Entertainment Value?

  • POSTED BY PureTom on | March 6, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    I have to disagree with the main sentiment of this article. SA players get more exposure to high level T20 leagues than Pakistan do and Pakistan have consistently beeen one of the best T20 teams. Also the BPL has not exactly turned Bangladesh into a T20 power house. India is ranked 3rd in T20's and they have the "best" domestic league. We just got beat by probably the most consitently good T20 team in the world game. I don't think we need a lot of soul searching to figure out they are a better T20 side than we are :)

  • POSTED BY KunzMan on | March 6, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    Completely disagree. Look at Pakistan! They are not able to host ANY matches at home and send their players to other leagues like BBL, BPL and in County championships. Still they are one of the top teams in business with 70% of squad same as that of ODIs. Right now the selection seems completely clueless. I hope Kallis announces retirement from International T20s officially. So should Smith and Amla if they are not to play at all. What that would mean is some sense of security, responsibility and role clarity on emerging players as well.

  • POSTED BY Ibrarhunzai on | March 7, 2013, 18:31 GMT

    South Africa does not give importance to the T20's thats the only reason. I dont think lack of competing and high profile domestic T20 competition is the reason.

  • POSTED BY AltafPatel on | March 7, 2013, 16:29 GMT

    It's not matter of local league. Remember, SA lost 1 of 5 matches in opening T20 WC 07 before IPL and other local league started, and repeated same performance in next WC after playing single season of IPL. Local league does n't have to deal with performance. To play at international level in any format requires talent, skill and experience which current team lacks. Selection is in doubt with Faf Du Plesis, who is good in longer format, was in T20 squad whereas specialist like Albie Morkel, De Cock, Bosman not in the team. They need to be serious if really want to dominant in shorter format as well.

  • POSTED BY Crick_Expert on | March 7, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    There is no doubt PAK TEAM is great T20 team in the world. They have many outstanding match winner players. We missed to see Smith, Hamla, Abdul Razzak in current series...

  • POSTED BY Romanticstud on | March 7, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    T20 cricket is much of a lottery ... you win the toss ... put the team on the back foot ... win the game at a canter ... someone clouts you round the park ... its their day ... they win ... Now 20 overs 120 balls is not a long time to recover an innings in the event of a collapse ... T20 is not everyone's cup of tea ... A player like Shane Watson does well in that format ... he is a pressure player ... Mahammed Hafeez too has found his groove there ... But ... South Africa have had a major reshuffle in the ranks and they cannot expect to get results overnight ... The ideal T20 side would be a batting wicketkeeper and 10 big hitting allrounders ...

  • POSTED BY Protears on | March 7, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    So we are hit and miss in the shortest version of the game, remind me how this makes a massive difference in life.

    History remembers those that don the whites and baggy caps, nobody remembers T20 hit and giggles players, Gul's and Malinga's will fade away into cricketing obscurity because nobody will remember players of this format.

    So we lost a T20, how is this worse than losing 3-0 in 5 less days of cricket played?

  • POSTED BY getsetgopk on | March 7, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    The Rand is not so great hehe...I bet this line can beat anything to page 2 any day, how about Pakistan is a way better T20 team? @JoeMaya: Exactly what I would like to know.

  • POSTED BY on | March 6, 2013, 20:47 GMT

    Talk about lack of big events? Pakistan hasn't played at home for the last four years. Their local t20 tournament takes only a week to finish. All the matches are played in the same stadium. They get paid the least of all the test playing nations. They don't play in IPL and only a couple of players go to Australia for the big bash. They have played only two games in CL history. Still they come out as one of the best t20 teams going around. So I don't buy this philosophy of SA think tank that lack of high profile tournaments is the reason behind their t20 demise. Their players play IPL,CL and their own t20 tournament which is also very competitive. Relating the performance of players to the amount of money they make is a joke IMO. It is all about the talent, flair and mental strength of the players that make them better not the money. SA have got talented players. Just stick with them and give them longer stay at the international level even if they fail they would only get better.

  • POSTED BY Bongz77 on | March 6, 2013, 17:04 GMT

    Have to disagree with this article. 70% of T20 is still a coin toss. It takes one 5'er or a score of 70+ in quick time to win a game. Little application, its basically a 50 over game on speed.

    Pakistan and the West Indies are arguably the most exciting and successful T20 nations out there. No big league there. People should not read into this format that intensively, you must ask yourself this: how many of you watch T20 for the a) Cricketing Value or b) Entertainment Value?

  • POSTED BY PureTom on | March 6, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    I have to disagree with the main sentiment of this article. SA players get more exposure to high level T20 leagues than Pakistan do and Pakistan have consistently beeen one of the best T20 teams. Also the BPL has not exactly turned Bangladesh into a T20 power house. India is ranked 3rd in T20's and they have the "best" domestic league. We just got beat by probably the most consitently good T20 team in the world game. I don't think we need a lot of soul searching to figure out they are a better T20 side than we are :)

  • POSTED BY KunzMan on | March 6, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    Completely disagree. Look at Pakistan! They are not able to host ANY matches at home and send their players to other leagues like BBL, BPL and in County championships. Still they are one of the top teams in business with 70% of squad same as that of ODIs. Right now the selection seems completely clueless. I hope Kallis announces retirement from International T20s officially. So should Smith and Amla if they are not to play at all. What that would mean is some sense of security, responsibility and role clarity on emerging players as well.

  • POSTED BY Ibrarhunzai on | March 7, 2013, 18:31 GMT

    South Africa does not give importance to the T20's thats the only reason. I dont think lack of competing and high profile domestic T20 competition is the reason.

  • POSTED BY AltafPatel on | March 7, 2013, 16:29 GMT

    It's not matter of local league. Remember, SA lost 1 of 5 matches in opening T20 WC 07 before IPL and other local league started, and repeated same performance in next WC after playing single season of IPL. Local league does n't have to deal with performance. To play at international level in any format requires talent, skill and experience which current team lacks. Selection is in doubt with Faf Du Plesis, who is good in longer format, was in T20 squad whereas specialist like Albie Morkel, De Cock, Bosman not in the team. They need to be serious if really want to dominant in shorter format as well.

  • POSTED BY Crick_Expert on | March 7, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    There is no doubt PAK TEAM is great T20 team in the world. They have many outstanding match winner players. We missed to see Smith, Hamla, Abdul Razzak in current series...

  • POSTED BY Romanticstud on | March 7, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    T20 cricket is much of a lottery ... you win the toss ... put the team on the back foot ... win the game at a canter ... someone clouts you round the park ... its their day ... they win ... Now 20 overs 120 balls is not a long time to recover an innings in the event of a collapse ... T20 is not everyone's cup of tea ... A player like Shane Watson does well in that format ... he is a pressure player ... Mahammed Hafeez too has found his groove there ... But ... South Africa have had a major reshuffle in the ranks and they cannot expect to get results overnight ... The ideal T20 side would be a batting wicketkeeper and 10 big hitting allrounders ...

  • POSTED BY Protears on | March 7, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    So we are hit and miss in the shortest version of the game, remind me how this makes a massive difference in life.

    History remembers those that don the whites and baggy caps, nobody remembers T20 hit and giggles players, Gul's and Malinga's will fade away into cricketing obscurity because nobody will remember players of this format.

    So we lost a T20, how is this worse than losing 3-0 in 5 less days of cricket played?

  • POSTED BY getsetgopk on | March 7, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    The Rand is not so great hehe...I bet this line can beat anything to page 2 any day, how about Pakistan is a way better T20 team? @JoeMaya: Exactly what I would like to know.

  • POSTED BY on | March 7, 2013, 4:55 GMT

    Agree main problem isn't competition - contrast Australia/India success in T20s with Pakistan/Sri Lanka/West Indies. India won the World Cup before the IPL started. Main issue is key players missing and instability in the team. But it may be the price to pay for being #1 in tests, really hard to be dominant in all three formats with the amount of cricket played. I think one of the reasons for SA's success is we have a more reasonable schedule than India/England/Australia and less injuries -of course, we do have the best players :). Our best batsmen won't play T20s now which may a good thing from a technique perspective. Solution may be to encourage T20 specialists and maybe less experimentation in the team

  • POSTED BY Jadejafan on | March 6, 2013, 23:48 GMT

    Pakistan already has a local T20 tournament Faisal Bank :P

  • POSTED BY haq33 on | March 6, 2013, 23:08 GMT

    T20 needs an overhaul. The variation in attention given to the format is now apparent. I am a fan of test cricket and as someone commented here, yes I would bite anyone's hand off and sacrifice a dozen T20 trophies to whitewash RSA in the series just finished. However, I do think T20 has its place. It might be worth considering forcing a certain quota of players under the age of, say 21, to play in teams for international T20 matches. This would help youngsters worldwide gain exposure and would also encourage all nations to approach T20 with the same mindset. At present it is quite unfair that some nations just don't give a hoot while others do try to field their best XI.

  • POSTED BY SurlyCynic on | March 6, 2013, 21:26 GMT

    Hmm, I see De Kock just smashed another good innings in the tour game against Pakistan today, not long ago he hit a brilliant 120 in a T20, yet he wasn't selected for either the T20 or ODIs vs Pakistan. Yet we select players like Behardien and Ontong and wonder why we lose.

  • POSTED BY Ngcobo on | March 6, 2013, 20:30 GMT

    Although I do watch the proteas in any world cup,the reality is that I honestly love the fact we dont have some ridiculous local T20 charade with overpaid and underperfoming players.

  • POSTED BY on | March 6, 2013, 20:24 GMT

    Many of the newcomers shine at provincial level and many (but by no means all) have the talent for higher things but most collapse sooner or later at the National T20 and One Day level.

    This also happened at test level until not so long ago. Why is this?

    Possibly these type of issues can only be solved by first rate leadership, selection, discipline and coaching but it seems everybody who can make a difference wants a piece of the test team's success and is avoiding the failure of the other formats.

  • POSTED BY cryptq1 on | March 6, 2013, 19:28 GMT

    I basically agree with what Bongz77 and PureTom said. Surely the international opposition problem can easily be solved by playing the T20's when our Proteas are available. Seems to be plenty of weekends available for that. Also the competition could be strengthened by reducing the number of franchises. The article seems to imply that our local players aren't quite good enough, fewer franchises solves that.

  • POSTED BY Natesan333 on | March 6, 2013, 18:30 GMT

    It's very simple, all these useless test matches are killing the nobel T20 games ;)

  • POSTED BY dariuscorny on | March 6, 2013, 18:28 GMT

    i dont think SA hv a bad side for t20s,the main team ofcourse.that side which had youngsters like beherdein,rory,ontong was obviously weak with comparision to Pak.t20 is lottery,anyday any team can defeat a giant team...SA just rested their main players that made them vulnerable against Pak,nothing else,chill SA fans

  • POSTED BY AltafPatel on | March 6, 2013, 18:07 GMT

    Amazed why 80% team is changed ! Albie, Van de Merve should be given chance. Though they are best in Test, ODI and T20 are away from dominance. In last 2 years, they struggle to win at home in ODIs, won to India 3-2 (hardly), Pakistan 3-2 (near margin), Srilanka 3-2 (again near margin), lost to England 2-1, and Aus 2-1. They were never in such form in the past in ODIs. T20 is even night mare, losing all 3 matches in quarter final of T20 WC is not much older. They need same commitment in ODIs, and T20 as Tests.

  • POSTED BY PrinceBhatia on | March 6, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    I don't know why South Africa selected the players like David Miller and Farhaan Behardien. They already got numerous chances but they never justice to their selection. I guess they have to give a chance to players like DE Kock and Dean Elgar in the place of Miller and Behradein. They need to select team which are capable of making runs rather than just looking like a T20 Side.

  • POSTED BY on | March 6, 2013, 17:23 GMT

    "....they have never won a knockout match in four editions of the World Twenty20 and lost all of their Super Eight games in Sri Lanka last year."

    South Africa did beat India if I correctly remember?

  • POSTED BY 2nd_Slip on | March 6, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    The article missed the point comlpetely, i feel SA are struggling in this form becaus theres just too much chopping and changing in the shorter formats of the game in the Proteas squads and the senior players dont really take it seriouslly and as a Proteas fan i seriuoslly dont mind just as long as they dont let future test prospects like De Kock and Rilee Rusouw play too much of this thing called T20 cricket.

  • POSTED BY AltafPatel on | March 6, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    Amazed why 80% team is changed ! Albie, Van de Merve should be given chance. Though they are best in Test, ODI and T20 are away from dominance. In last 2 years, they struggle to win at home in ODIs, won to India 3-2 (hardly), Pakistan 3-2 (near margin), Srilanka 3-2 (again near margin), lost to England 2-1, and Aus 2-1. They were never in such form in the past in ODIs. T20 is even night mare, losing all 3 matches in quarter final of T20 WC is not much older. They need same commitment in ODIs, and T20 as Tests.

  • POSTED BY TheGladiator on | March 6, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    I completely agree with @StoneRose comments. Test cricket is the "REAL" cricket. T20 is just entertainment. But IPL is really big compared to all other T20 leagues in the world. Also the cricket played in IPL is intense,and with all the crowd support,its a spectacle.But its still just entertainment,not real cricket.There should just be the IPL,& revenue should be shared equally among all the cricket boards. There is no point in playing 2 test match series.There should be atleast 3 Test matches in a series.Also more warmup matches should be played before a Test match,so that the visiting teams get acclimatised to the conditions.That way,the initial Test matches wont be one sided contests.Also it would improve the quality of cricket played.I love Test cricket.The BCCI is not doing a good job.Cramming a lot of cricket in the schedule.Indian team should go to SA atleast 25 days before the Test match starts and play atleast two(4 day) warm up matches.And 1 warmup match after 2nd Test.

  • POSTED BY on | March 6, 2013, 14:29 GMT

    you have to disagree here, Leagues do not help much. if such was the case then we could have seen india lifting all the t20 world cups. they have a bigger tournament of ipl each year with almost 45+ playing national players but they were not able to go past 2nd round after wining the 1st t20 cup.

    Problem for SA, they havent focused much on this format. look at selection of team for pak series. i am sure they could have picked a better side even by resting likes of kalas, amla, steyn.

    They need priorities right. after wining recent test series they refused to rest players in 3rd match , but here in t20 they rested players.

  • POSTED BY on | March 6, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    Having given it some thought, I guess it would be acceptable if CSA just came out with it and said that they're going to use the T20 format only to fuel our ODI and test teams. The problem is how would that go down with the ICC? It would also no doubt reduce the number of bums on seats in SA and therefore reduce intake of revenue. Sponsors would start complaining - where would it end? I guess cricket is more like politics than we care to admit. The truth is plain and obvious for all to see but the powers that be dare not tell us the truth.

  • POSTED BY on | March 6, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    Highly amusing that such an idea be mooted for any other reason than financial gain. Every single nation that has won the World T20 since it's inception, has done so at a time when there was no "franchise" league in that country. Why do cricket administrators think that the public are stupid? This is very transparent.

  • POSTED BY Harlequin. on | March 6, 2013, 13:27 GMT

    No no no no no.

    South Africa are approaching it in completely the right way; using it as an opportunity to expose youngsters to the International stage. T20 is a lottery and the winner is irrelevant, worrying about success/lack of it, is like trying to formulate strategies in roulette.

  • POSTED BY on | March 6, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    I don't think anyone is suggesting that we would automatically beat Pakistan if we fielded our best players but I think that we would all agree that SA would at least perform better and would probably be a better T20 side if we did. It's clear that CSA have a certain agenda in T20. Unfortunately it leaves a sour taste in my mouth. There seems to be a serious lack of pride and patriotism - if I was to put on the "green and gold" for my country knowing that we weren't given the best chance to succeed then I'd be very disappointed. Also, T20 is the great equaliser. It's obvious that more teams are competitve over shorter formats of the game and perhaps this is what makes the game so attractive to them. Now even the worst minnow has a chance to beat a top side. One of the problems for the SA T20 squad is that we're constantly experimenting and then try to field our "best" team for a tournament that actually isn't our best team due to lack of experience and actual match play.

  • POSTED BY NixNixon on | March 6, 2013, 13:11 GMT

    In the begining people complianed about tests series being reduced to accomodate mickey mouse t20 cricket and now all of a sudden t20 is the most important form of cricket. For me, test cricket is the ultimate form of cricket and any genuine cricekt lover will agree with me on that. I do not believe that there is a future for both t20 and odi cricket and either a 30/30 version (similar to what shane warne suggested) will have to be tried or one of the original two will fall away. For me t20 is about making money and yes it does draw crowds but it is destroying true cricket. Look at someone like david warner, he used to smack it around and since being included in the test squad he is really upped his game - test cricket just makes you a better player.

  • POSTED BY OzHorse on | March 6, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    Forget the band of international T20 mercenaries...what the SA stars? The first thing CSA should do is to NOT overlap the domestic T20 comp with international games. Steyn, AB, Amla, Kallis etc need to be playing in the local tournament to raise its profile AND give them more T20 experience and pass that experience onto younger franchise players who will be the stars of tomorrow.

  • POSTED BY on | March 6, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    Bottom line is we were soundly beaten by a much better equipped T20 side than we are. I detest the T20 format, but sadly it is here to stay. Either we give it all we have or we step back completely. Personally I feel that we should play non test players in the T20 side and grow it that way. Make it for those players that might not get test exposure. It must be noted that my comments are based purely on my opinion and I am very biased in favour of real cricket (read Test Cricket)!

  • POSTED BY StoneRose on | March 6, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    SA don't do well bcos they don;'t really care (they care about being #1 in Tests) and who can blame them. WHat do meaningless T20 matches here and there mean, other than an opportunity to rest players? The Future Tours Programme needs to be overhauled: no more meaningless 1 or 2 match Test series, separate tours spread over a longer period so overall less cricket, which makes cricket more meaningful. Maybe even have a league system, rather than rankings which don't appear to be working in ODIs and T20s.

  • POSTED BY DeckChairand6pack on | March 6, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    Protea's cricket have their prioties just right; they give T20 and ODI cricket all the deference and attention the formats deserve! It is called hit and giggle for a reason. Which teams are no. 1 in these formats? Whoever they are they would bite our hands off to be Test number 1 and have our mace! SA cricket, please dont change anything.

  • POSTED BY klempie on | March 6, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    No. The reason SA lags behind in T20...is because it's T20! How long ago was it that we were number one in both formats plus the one that isn't cricket? It was so *recent* I can hardly remember!

  • POSTED BY shaww on | March 6, 2013, 11:41 GMT

    Faff sounds as if he's pandering to the public. The T20 squad just lacks experience. No need for divination of current talent to figure it out.

    Having a settled team would push us up the rankings ... but selecting that team too early would not make it a world dominating team. We've still got time for experimentation.

    As for our test players ... coddle them as much as possible ... we're on top right? I would rather have an injury free WINNING test squad than mediocre teams in all formats. We've got talent, the other formats will follow suite.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | March 6, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    I guess it will never happen because of the money they can make but imagine if Australia and SA refused to let their players play in the IPL the way the BCCi refuses to let Indian players play in other countries' T20 leagues. I always laugh when Indians say that the IPL is the best competition in the world because the only reason it is is the foreign players.

  • POSTED BY KasperRasper on | March 6, 2013, 11:09 GMT

    100% agree with Kagiso. SA cricket sees T20 as a side street where they can blood some of the players that are not a mainstay of the Test side. (excl Hash and AB and maybe Faf) Call it what you like - T20 is SA's equity donkey. Players from previously disadvantaged backgrounds as well as those players showing a bit of heat in the local T20 series are awarded Protea colours left right and centre. Unfortunately, most of these players are not (regularly) up to international standard apart from the odd win here and there. With this mish mash of players - SA supporters should not expect anything from our T20 side.

  • POSTED BY Rhygwyn on | March 6, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    I don't care what they do, I still won't go to a T20 game. More Test matches!

  • POSTED BY on | March 6, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    I was at the game on Sunday, and though we lost, the Pakistan team still provided great entertainment for the spectators. T20 is always going to be a hit-and-giggles game; as such, I don't think it necessary to take it too seriously. Because it was taken too seriously, we did not see much of a fight from SA. Pakistan are the better T20 team.

    I personally would enjoy the double header, if it were the national woman's side as the precursor to the main event.

    T20's should be used to give young players exposure to the national setup, and preparing them for ODI's. ODI's should be used to identify test-level talent.

    Unfortunately, given the economics of the game, people will expect the most from T20 matches (in terms of their desire for the right team to win).

  • POSTED BY on | March 6, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    The only strategy I can observe at the moment is the blooding of younger players for international level and test cricket in the shorter formats. Unfortunately this has not worked. The players that have been successful at Test level have gone straight into Test and not via t20/ODI e.g. Marchant de Lange, Philander and Abbott bar Faf. The selector must do us a favour and repent from this and start selecting the best team for T20s all the time with no favours for misfiring players like behardien/miller/ontong.

  • POSTED BY FighterKallis on | March 6, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    Real reason is AB wants to dominate like Boucher. Give de cock atleast the t20 chance. My T20 team Devillers, cock,henry davids, Gulam bodi, faf, miller,albie, mclaren/morris ,phangiso, morkel,tsotsobe.

    odi team smith,amla ,decock,ingram, devillers, faf, mclaren ,steyn,phangiso, tsotsobe, morkel/abott

  • POSTED BY BellCurve on | March 6, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    SA lost one T20 match. They were chasing a big target. They had to win. If you chase a big target in limited overs cricket, the wheels sometimes come off. It really is as simple as that. There is no need for navel gazing.

  • POSTED BY Marktc on | March 6, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    SA really has no excuse for poor T20 showing. They have the players at domestic level to have a decent side, yet they stick with players who have not done well at this level. I also understand resting key players to prolong their career, but bringing them back for certain matches also disrupts the balance of the team. Either they should be included or excluded. The team is too unsettled. I also do not think T20 is a priority for SA Cricket. There is no doubt we have the players and the potential to be world winners..but our selection panel needs to come to terms with the need for this.

  • POSTED BY py0alb on | March 6, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    To propose a T20 double header is to spectacularly miss the point of why they're popular in the first place. 20th century thought processes.

    Doesn't make sense anyway, looking at the results in the Champions League, like most leagues around the world, the South African domestic league is already of a significantly higher standard than the retired cricketers league (IPL for short). So where's the problem?

  • POSTED BY on | March 6, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    SA cricket isnt taking T20 cricket seriously. The "experimentations" have gone for far too long and they are now becoming silly excuses to let certain players decide when and where they want to play.When was the last time SA fielded their best T20 and ODI team? When did SA feature Kallis, Steyn and Morne Morkel in the same team in a T20 and ODI game? And i bet all 3 will be starters in a world cup or champions trophy match. Certain players are getting preferential treatment in the Proteas as seen recently by one who dedided he didnt wanna be wicket-keeper then he did, then he wanted to captain ODI & T20 and keep the same time, then he didnt, now we all dont know whats his next decision. Maybe he will decide he wants to be the opening bowler as well and team management will agree

  • POSTED BY on | March 6, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    Nonsense. England won the World T20 despite having very few of their international playing in the IPL at the time. The team SA had out for the 2nd T20 defeat to Pakistan was lousy. A bowling attack that nobody fears and a top order that looked very weak on paper and even weaker out on grass.

  • POSTED BY on | March 6, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    They "seek the root of the problem" but at the same time leave out all of our good players apart from Du Plessis & DeVilliers??

    Resting players can't be an excuse, Top IPL players like Albie Morkel & Johan Botha were in no need of rest.

  • POSTED BY dgcov on | March 6, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    Most of the SA players in the last T20 against Pakistan are relatively inexperienced; players like Behardien and Miller are playing for their careers and they are too new to be able to confidently withstand the inevitable pressure.

    Watching Behardien (who is capable of big hits for his Franchise) block out 5 balls and take a single off the sixth recently against New Zealand, it's painfully obvious that he can't really hack it.

  • POSTED BY OnlyTestsMatter on | March 6, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    i say hooray that we are solely focussed on test cricket! if i wanted to watch sport that only exists for the media, i'd move to america. i was in texas last year, and went to watch a live dallas cowboys game. it was the single most boring event i have ever been to. a 60 minute game took over 5 hours, i kid you not. when i asked the american next to me why, he told me in two words: ad breaks. when i mentioned that i thought that was insane, he replied "this is nothing. you should go to a baseball game." no thank you very much. let's keep our sports pure, the consequences are unthinkable!

  • POSTED BY TommytuckerSaffa on | March 6, 2013, 8:24 GMT

    100% agree with Codenames

    SA demise in T20 is purely down to poor squad selection and nothing more. SA league teams finished in the finals and semis CLT20. If you look at the TOP T20 players domestically in SA, they are not being picked to play for their country.

  • POSTED BY on | March 6, 2013, 8:22 GMT

    too much R&D after losing one t20, i doubt this much been done by Pakistan after losing 3-0 in tests

  • POSTED BY on | March 6, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    To me the approach of target was wrong as said by skipper that "we planned to start with run rate of 11" but he forget to plan about to save wickts aswell. This mindset they carry to wt20s

  • POSTED BY MrGarreth on | March 6, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    The squad is a bit stale to be honest we've got guys in there that were good some seasons back (Behardien, Ontong, Miller) but aren't really the current best crop of players we have in our country. For the life of me I can't understand why 3 of the best batsmen in the world (Kallis, Smith, Amla) and 3 of the best bowlers (Steyn, Morkel, Philander) barely play these formats. You saw the difference AB made. That was just one out of the triumphant 7. Imagine all 7 we're playing! Yes I understand that these guys need rests but come on. Test cricket will not be played by SA for 6 months! Why not take advantage of that and use our outstanding test squad? Just don't understand some of the selection. Our guys play all over the world in all sorts of leagues. No excuses. Get it together and stop treating the shorter formats like a joke. I saw Gary and the rest of the squad laughing when we lost the ODI series to NZ! Does it mean that little? I sincerely hope not.

  • POSTED BY on | March 6, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    Pakistan do not have a big league either and their players are not in the ipl - poor excuse here !!!

  • POSTED BY stormer1980 on | March 6, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    We've become to obsessed in being number 1 in Tests .. Hence the different coaches and captains .. and resting of Key players ... This is where Australia of the 90's got it right ... doesnt matter what era you playing in ... They were basically the same team for 50 over and tests and ran thru the teams and won world cups ... This is why SA will not be spoken about as great .. but a very good and dominant test team ... Players are also chosen on reputation but have not done well for the franchises even .. T20 is a form game and only form players should be playing .... Quinton De Kock , Hardus Viljoen , Phangiso , David Wiese , Neil Mckenzie (capt and i dont care how old he is ) ... these are players that need to be in the squad .. Ontong , Miller and Behardien have had there chances and they just not good enough at this level ... JP should be coming back .. AB looks good opening and so does Davids .. We dont have bad players , just managed incorrectly

  • POSTED BY Codenames on | March 6, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    Well South African franchises have been competing well against other franchises in the CLT20, and have reached the finals & semi-finals in the most recent version. You could blame selection if a certain Quintin de Kock who smashes the domestic T20 record in recent days does not get the nod to play. The selection is so flawed that if they go to www.espncricinfo.com -> Countries -> South Africa -> Ram Slam T20 Challenge -> Statistics ; and blindly pick the top few batter and bowlers, that team produced will do better than the current proteas squad

  • POSTED BY Newlandsfaithful on | March 6, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    SA's woes in the shorter form of the game exist because of the elitist attitude of CSA with regards to test cricket vs. ODIs and T20. The selections for the shorter formats reveal the fact that CSA sees them purely as a testing ground for new players and is not really that concerned about results. Test CVricket is the only genuine form of the game in the mindset of CSA, and players like Kallis and Steyn are managed so that they can perform for the test side. We've had this bizarre scenario when Kallis and Steyn have been playing for the IPL and yet are "rested" out of the Proteas squad. Last year SA lost a T20 series against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh - hardly the most intimidating opposition - and not an eyebrow was raised. Just don't care. CSA is just fielding under prepared experimental teams with a few token experienced players (who shy away from being the captain). Soon the spectators will catch on to the fact that the tickets for these games are worth nothing. They're not Proteas.

  • POSTED BY since7 on | March 6, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    If the absence of a major T20 league is the reason, then India with its IPL should be dominating the ICC T20 tournaments which is not the case.Pakistan and SriLanka dont have dysfunctional leagues but have done remarkably well in the tournaments so far.I guess the problem lies with the lack of serious,focussed intent towards Limited over formats. There has been too much experimentation with respect to slots and roles within the South african team.They never seem to be proper roles for talented cricketers and worse the merry go round attitude to captaincy.Foremost they need to realise that T20 success relies on devloping 'impact' cricketers who suit the format and persisting with them over a period of time. When was the last time South Africans fielded the same side with clearly defined roles for a whole series?.With the bowling wealth they have, South Africans should be fierce competitors.

  • POSTED BY TommytuckerSaffa on | March 6, 2013, 5:07 GMT

    T20 shouldnt be at international level anyway and should be used at domestic level only. This will ensure interest in ODI and Test cricket.

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | March 6, 2013, 4:42 GMT

    Naw, I don't think so. SA already have a wonderful T20 tournament which attracts many international players notably from England, Australia, NZ and Caribbean. They don't need no IPL or BBL clones. Besides, the problem with SA is that they are chokers. They have some kind of a mental block that manifests itself during semi finals and finals. I feel bad to say that because I been a follower of South African cricket since the past decade and half. Every world cup, or world T20, they choke. Can't see that changing any time soon. A new look T20 league ain't gonna do much. Besides, even if they do organize a new league, it's doubtful whether the BCCI would allow Indian players to participate due to the IPL being in such close proximity to the SA tournament.

  • POSTED BY JoeMaya on | March 6, 2013, 3:51 GMT

    It's pretty ironic to see a country like SA to make such excuses that due to lack of a major franchise tournament, they are poor in T20 cricket. Well simple question here, they lost to who? Pakistan, a team that has not had international cricket played back home for over 4 years, that do not have an international franchise, and whose active players do not get to play much T20 in other franchises due to political reasons every now and then. So if a country like SA can come up with such an excuse after losing to a much more deprived team in the world, then I wonder what should Pakistan say if the match result was the opposite. Just a thought to spare... :)

  • POSTED BY 9ST9 on | March 6, 2013, 3:43 GMT

    SA are doing remarkably in Tests - should they be really worrying about their T20 form?

  • POSTED BY 9ST9 on | March 6, 2013, 3:43 GMT

    SA are doing remarkably in Tests - should they be really worrying about their T20 form?

  • POSTED BY JoeMaya on | March 6, 2013, 3:51 GMT

    It's pretty ironic to see a country like SA to make such excuses that due to lack of a major franchise tournament, they are poor in T20 cricket. Well simple question here, they lost to who? Pakistan, a team that has not had international cricket played back home for over 4 years, that do not have an international franchise, and whose active players do not get to play much T20 in other franchises due to political reasons every now and then. So if a country like SA can come up with such an excuse after losing to a much more deprived team in the world, then I wonder what should Pakistan say if the match result was the opposite. Just a thought to spare... :)

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | March 6, 2013, 4:42 GMT

    Naw, I don't think so. SA already have a wonderful T20 tournament which attracts many international players notably from England, Australia, NZ and Caribbean. They don't need no IPL or BBL clones. Besides, the problem with SA is that they are chokers. They have some kind of a mental block that manifests itself during semi finals and finals. I feel bad to say that because I been a follower of South African cricket since the past decade and half. Every world cup, or world T20, they choke. Can't see that changing any time soon. A new look T20 league ain't gonna do much. Besides, even if they do organize a new league, it's doubtful whether the BCCI would allow Indian players to participate due to the IPL being in such close proximity to the SA tournament.

  • POSTED BY TommytuckerSaffa on | March 6, 2013, 5:07 GMT

    T20 shouldnt be at international level anyway and should be used at domestic level only. This will ensure interest in ODI and Test cricket.

  • POSTED BY since7 on | March 6, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    If the absence of a major T20 league is the reason, then India with its IPL should be dominating the ICC T20 tournaments which is not the case.Pakistan and SriLanka dont have dysfunctional leagues but have done remarkably well in the tournaments so far.I guess the problem lies with the lack of serious,focussed intent towards Limited over formats. There has been too much experimentation with respect to slots and roles within the South african team.They never seem to be proper roles for talented cricketers and worse the merry go round attitude to captaincy.Foremost they need to realise that T20 success relies on devloping 'impact' cricketers who suit the format and persisting with them over a period of time. When was the last time South Africans fielded the same side with clearly defined roles for a whole series?.With the bowling wealth they have, South Africans should be fierce competitors.

  • POSTED BY Newlandsfaithful on | March 6, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    SA's woes in the shorter form of the game exist because of the elitist attitude of CSA with regards to test cricket vs. ODIs and T20. The selections for the shorter formats reveal the fact that CSA sees them purely as a testing ground for new players and is not really that concerned about results. Test CVricket is the only genuine form of the game in the mindset of CSA, and players like Kallis and Steyn are managed so that they can perform for the test side. We've had this bizarre scenario when Kallis and Steyn have been playing for the IPL and yet are "rested" out of the Proteas squad. Last year SA lost a T20 series against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh - hardly the most intimidating opposition - and not an eyebrow was raised. Just don't care. CSA is just fielding under prepared experimental teams with a few token experienced players (who shy away from being the captain). Soon the spectators will catch on to the fact that the tickets for these games are worth nothing. They're not Proteas.

  • POSTED BY Codenames on | March 6, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    Well South African franchises have been competing well against other franchises in the CLT20, and have reached the finals & semi-finals in the most recent version. You could blame selection if a certain Quintin de Kock who smashes the domestic T20 record in recent days does not get the nod to play. The selection is so flawed that if they go to www.espncricinfo.com -> Countries -> South Africa -> Ram Slam T20 Challenge -> Statistics ; and blindly pick the top few batter and bowlers, that team produced will do better than the current proteas squad

  • POSTED BY stormer1980 on | March 6, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    We've become to obsessed in being number 1 in Tests .. Hence the different coaches and captains .. and resting of Key players ... This is where Australia of the 90's got it right ... doesnt matter what era you playing in ... They were basically the same team for 50 over and tests and ran thru the teams and won world cups ... This is why SA will not be spoken about as great .. but a very good and dominant test team ... Players are also chosen on reputation but have not done well for the franchises even .. T20 is a form game and only form players should be playing .... Quinton De Kock , Hardus Viljoen , Phangiso , David Wiese , Neil Mckenzie (capt and i dont care how old he is ) ... these are players that need to be in the squad .. Ontong , Miller and Behardien have had there chances and they just not good enough at this level ... JP should be coming back .. AB looks good opening and so does Davids .. We dont have bad players , just managed incorrectly

  • POSTED BY on | March 6, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    Pakistan do not have a big league either and their players are not in the ipl - poor excuse here !!!

  • POSTED BY MrGarreth on | March 6, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    The squad is a bit stale to be honest we've got guys in there that were good some seasons back (Behardien, Ontong, Miller) but aren't really the current best crop of players we have in our country. For the life of me I can't understand why 3 of the best batsmen in the world (Kallis, Smith, Amla) and 3 of the best bowlers (Steyn, Morkel, Philander) barely play these formats. You saw the difference AB made. That was just one out of the triumphant 7. Imagine all 7 we're playing! Yes I understand that these guys need rests but come on. Test cricket will not be played by SA for 6 months! Why not take advantage of that and use our outstanding test squad? Just don't understand some of the selection. Our guys play all over the world in all sorts of leagues. No excuses. Get it together and stop treating the shorter formats like a joke. I saw Gary and the rest of the squad laughing when we lost the ODI series to NZ! Does it mean that little? I sincerely hope not.