South Africa news January 25, 2016

Retired Petersen denied MCL stint after Lions refuse NOC

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The Lions' CEO Greg Fredericks said the NOC was denied to Alviro Petersen as the franchise felt he was central to their plans during the upcoming fixtures © AFP

Three South African players will attempt to play in the inaugural Masters Champions League without signed NOCs from their national body, Cricket South Africa. Richard Levi, Rory Kleinveldt and Robin Peterson have all been denied NOCs because the MCL clashes with South African domestic fixtures. A fourth player, Alviro Petersen, also did not receive an NOC, and will not be traveling to the UAE because he is contractually bound to play for Highveld Lions, his South African franchise.

Petersen tweeted his situation on Monday. "Its with regret that I announce that @HighveldLions CEO & Board denied me an NOC to play in @MCL2020UAE . My team mate Mc Kenzie got his NOC."

Petersen retired from international cricket in January 2015 but remains contracted to the Lions franchise, for whom he scored a double-hundred in the most recent round of first-class matches. For any player to receive an NOC, their franchise has to agree and then apply to CSA for a final signature. The Lions' CEO Greg Fredericks told ESPNcricinfo that they chose not to do this after discussions with the coach and selectors in which they decided the franchise needs Petersen for upcoming fixtures.

McKenzie has a different and smaller agreement with Lions, which will expire at the end of the 2015-16 summer. He only played in the List A competition this season after retiring from first-class cricket at the end of last season. Although that tournament is yet to conclude, the Lions have deemed him surplus to requirements, paving way for his NOC.

The situation with the Levi, Kleinveldt and Peterson is different. None of them have publicly announced their retirement from international cricket but an insider told ESPNcricinfo that all of them have written to CSA to state that it is not their intention to play international cricket anymore.

Their franchise, the Cobras, applied to CSA for their NOCs but CSA has refused to grant them because they felt the players are needed in the domestic competition.

Levi is a Kolpak player who has a contract with the Cobras under which he is bound to play for them in the T20 competition and the play-offs of the one-day cup. His contract also contains a clause that he will be released for one T20 league, should an opportunity arise. He chose the MCL ahead of the PSL. While the T20 competition is already over in South Africa, the playoffs for the one-day cup take place at the end of February and do not clash with the MCL.

Kleinveldt and Peterson, who last played for South Africa in 2013 and 2014 respectively, are also contracted to the Cobras and have been playing across all formats for the franchise. A source revealed that CSA refused to release them because, "it's important that the strength of the domestic game is looked after." While Peterson and Levi are already in the UAE, Kleinveldt is expected to travel on Tuesday.

The MCL may still refuse to allow these players to take part in the tournament without a signed NOC from CSA.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • haddymo on January 30, 2016, 21:58 GMT

    Here we go again. The rule simply goes whatever you try to suppress or conceal will eventually pop up in bursts. Well that points straight to a legend called Chris Gayle, a pure rebel at heart. It's a great mentality that refuses institutionalization of the individual but to thrive as a whole lone entity into the larger scope of things - which is the team. Patriotism has been sold to youngsters as self sacrifice of which it's utter stupidity. No man's family ought to starve simply because they have to fulfill national contractual duties. If the institute requires a cricketers skills let them pay what is due. Only if the players threatens to quit that's when they show a sad and caring face - read AB Devilliers' Test burden debacle- or at their worst threaten disciplinary action. You don't see that much in FIFA's Soccer do you. One reason why I respect that organization to our ICC

  • Hrolf on January 30, 2016, 3:19 GMT

    66 players in the first 3 games. 18 of those had played top level domestic cricket in Jan 2016, average age 35.6 (28-44). A further 28 had played in the last year, average age 35.5 (29-40). Only 20 had not played top level domestic cricket for at least 1 year, average age 40 (34-46). MCL has a long way to go to make it a genuine seniors retired tournament.

  • CricketChat on January 26, 2016, 14:07 GMT

    If the FC teams paid a decent amount of money for the retired players to play for them, thus assuring those players of financial security and income beyond their best days on cricket field, I don't find it wrong they insist their availability. If these players want to represent MCL, they should terminate their contracts.

  •   Richardson Mzaidume on January 26, 2016, 9:36 GMT

    Masters Champions League should strictly for former cricketers who have retired from all forms of cricket. Richard Levi is a baby at 28. Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson and Rory Kleinveldt are still active first class cricketers and shouldn't qualify in all fairness. Levi should have played more games for SA but his inability to deal with spinners put paid to his international career. Robin Peterson neglected his batting and simply couldn't make SA side as a purely a front line spinner. As for Kleinveldt, he blows far too hot and cold for my liking. His supposed big hitting down the batting line up is overrated. For me, if these guys want to play with and against long retired players they should follow suit.

  • Proteas-13thman on January 26, 2016, 3:05 GMT

    Its because of this ALVIRO that we never got to see COOK and SMITH bat together ~! great in justice never seeing the best opening pair play together....great injustice!

  • captainhansie on January 26, 2016, 0:58 GMT

    Fascinating. What is really missing are the details of what will happen to the players who play without a NOC. Is SA going to ban them? I think CSA will find that banning someone from making their livelihood is not something the courts in South Africa enforces. What happens if the ICC get involved in the banning? My mind is spinning. This is going to devolve into a total mess.

  • njr1330 on January 25, 2016, 21:21 GMT

    I think the problem is, that the MCL regard 'retired' as meaning retired from INTERNATIONAL cricket; whereas the franchises regard it as retired from ALL cricket.

  • John Straight on January 25, 2016, 20:47 GMT

    Alviro always hanging his dirty laundry in the media. One of the best days in SA cricket was when he retired.

  • Kingkallis92 on January 25, 2016, 20:21 GMT

    The circus that is South African cricket goes on; at national or international level, it's clear that no one really knows what they're doing.

  • r1m2 on January 25, 2016, 17:56 GMT

    I wonder what part the word "retired" is so complicated to understand for these cricketers. If a cricketer is retired, he/she should not be playing with a signed contract for any tournament under the country board's control. MCL should be only for these retired players. There should be no need for a NOC.

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