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AB De Villiers
Ab de Villiers. Image Courtesy: Getty Images
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AB de Villiers Retires from All forms of International Cricket

In what comes as a huge shock to the cricketing fraternity, AB de Villiers has decided to call it quits from international cricket with immediate effect.

The game will never be the same without the presence of de Villiers. He has been a champion cricketer over the years for South Africa, and his absence will leave a huge void in the middle-order for the Proteas. The chances of South Africa has also gone down considerably for the 2019 World Cup.

De Villiers is regarded as one of the best batsmen of the modern generation. He is among those very few players who can execute shots all around the wickets. Mr 360 holds the record for fastest fifty, fastest century and fastest 150 in ODI cricket. Meanwhile, the news was made public by de Villiers on his official app.

“This is the high-performance centre in Pretoria where 14 seasons ago I arrived as a nervous youngster when I was first called into the Proteas squad. Today at the same place, I want to let you know that I have decided to retire from all international cricket with immediate effect. After 114 Test matches, 228 ODIs and 78 T20Is, it is time for others to take over.

Also read: IPL 2018: Five Players Who Might be Dropped by RCB in the Next Edition

Ab de Villiers IPL 2018
Ab de Villiers scored an unbeaten 90 against Delhi Daredevils in Bangalore.

“I have had my turn and to be honest, I am tired. This is a tough decision, I thought long and hard about it, and I would like to retire while still playing decent cricket. After the fantastic series against India and Australia, now feels the right time to step aside. It would not be right for me to pick and choose where and when and in what format I play for the Proteas. For me, in green and gold, it must be everything or nothing.”

De Villiers expresses his gratitude to teammates, coaches and Cricket South Africa 

“I will always be grateful to my teammates, the coaches and the staff of Cricket South Africa for their support through all these years. It is not about earning more somewhere else; it is about running out of gas and feeling it is time to move on.”

“Everything comes to an end and to cricket fans in South Africa and around the world, thank you very much for your kindness, generosity and your understanding. I have no plans to play overseas; in fact, I hope I can continue to be available for the Titans in domestic cricket. I will continue to be the biggest supporter of Faf du Plessis and the Proteas,” de Villiers said at the retirement address.

Also Read: FIFA World Cup 2018: Top 5 Teams Who Will be Missed

AB de Villiers, South Africa, Pink ODI, Johannesburg, South Africa Vs India,
AB de Villiers has ruled the roost while donning the pink in particular. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Cricket South Africa, Lungi Ngidi
Photo by Ron Gaunt / BCCI / SPORTZPICS
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Cricket South Africa Shaken by Death of Lungi Ngidi’s Father

The sudden death of South African fast bowler Lungi Ngidi’s father has taken aback Cricket South Africa (CSA).

Meanwhile, Ngidi was in India to represent Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the ongoing eleventh edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) when he heard the tragic news. CSK bought him for INR 50 lakh at the auction in January, this year.

After hearing the news, Ngidi is on his way back home to be with his family at this moment. Ngidi is the youngest of the four sons of Jerome Ngidi and Bongi Ngidi.

Thabang Moroe
Photo Credit: Gallo Images/Getty

Moreover, CSA has released a statement to bemoan the passing away of Mr. Jerome. They also expressed that the news has left them in shock.

CSA is shocked and deeply saddened by the passing away of Mr. Ngidi. We would like to extend our most sincere condolences to Lungi and his family. May the Lord be with him and comfort the rest of the Ngidi family during this difficult time,” Chris Nenzani, the CSA President wrote in the statement.

Thabang Moroe, the acting chief executive of Cricket South Africa also regretted the death and passed his condolences to Ngidi’s family.

 “I am taking this moment to pass my condolences to the Ngidi family. It has to be even more difficult to lose a father figure at such a young age for Lungi. May the soul of Mr. Ngidi rest peacefully,” Moroe said in the release.

Lungi Ngidi
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Meanwhile, the Super Kings are going through a tough time despite having a great comeback in the league.

The Chennai-based outfit lost prominent spinner Mitchell Santner prior to the tournament and Kedar Jadhav thereafter following a hamstring injury.

Moreover, Suresh Raina will also not be available after suffering a strain during CSKs game against the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Chepauk Stadium.

This doesn’t end as CSK’s home base is moved out of Chepauk in the wake of the ongoing Cauvery Water dispute. They will play their home games now in Maharashtra.

Also, here is the newsfeed:

Confident Chennai to face Kings XI Punjab

Dan Christian castles Ishan Kishan to halt Mumbai’s run flow

Morkel joins Surrey on a two-year Kolpak deal

South Africa fast bowler Mornel Morkel, who retired from international cricket after South Africa’s 492-run victory against Australia has signed for English county club Surrey on a two-year Kolpak deal.

Morkel played his last Test match in Cape Town where he also got his 300th Test wicket and became only the fifth South African to achieve this feat.

The fast bowler has been the victim of injuries quite a lot of times in his career lately and this was one of the reason for Morkel to think about his future.

The 33-year old fast bowler still hasn’t recovered from the side strain injury and as a result of that he he won’t be able to make his debut for Surrey in their opening Championship match of the season against Hampshire at the Oval beginning on April 20.

A similar injury to the same left side at the start of South Africa’s home summer ruled Morkel out of action for eleven weeks although it is not thought to be as severe this time. However, Morkel is delighted to join the club and also said he has great memories at the Kia Oval.

Morkel joins Surrey on a two-year Kolpak deal 1

“It is a real honour that Surrey asked me to join their club after my retirement from international cricket. I’ve got fond memories of playing at the Kia Oval and am looking forward to settling into London with my family for the summer, making new friendships with teammates and hopefully great memories on and off the field,” Morne said.

Meanwhile, the director of Cricket Alec Stewart had a lot of appreciation for the Proteas fast bowler.

“Following his retirement from international cricket I am very pleased that Morne has signed for Surrey for at least the next two years. He has had an outstanding career with South Africa and is a player that will add enormous strength and experience to our squad,” he said.

“He sets exceedingly high standards for himself and for our young bowlers to have the opportunity to train and play alongside Morne can only help to develop their own games. We look forward to welcoming Morne and his family to the Kia Oval for the start of the season,” Steward concluded.

Keshav Maharaj. Image Courtesy: Getty Images
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Cricket South Africa Name Squad for Spin Bowling Tour of India

Cricket South Africa on Thursday made the announcement for their squad of players and coaches who will be attending a spin bowling camp in India from 28th April to 6th May. The squad picked by South Africa consists of some experienced customers to go with some youngsters. The spin bowling department is headed by Keshav Maharaj, Dane Piedt and Tabraiz Shamsi alongside batsman Temba Bavuma. They will also be assisted by senior coaches Malibongwe Maketa, Claude Henderson and Russell Domingo.

“Nearly all our national teams will be touring the sub-continent in the coming months including the Proteas and the National Academy who will both be going to Sri Lanka and South Africa ‘A’ who will be touring India,” CSA High-Performance Manager Vinnie Barnes was quoted as saying by Sport 24.

Cricket South Africa Name Squad for Spin Bowling Tour of India 2

“Several senior players, who have been to this camp before, appreciate its value and have asked to be included again,” he added.

Here is the Spin Bowling Squad:

Batsmen

Temba Bavuma (Cape Cobras), Tony de Zorzi (Titans), Zubayr Hamza (Cape Cobras), Christiaan Jonker (Warriors), Sinethemba Queshile (Warriors), Rudi Second (Knights)

Bowlers

Junaid Dawood (Cape Cobras), Bjorn Fortuin (Highveld Lions), George Linde (Cape Cobras), Keshav Maharaj (Dolphins), Gregory Mahlokwana (Titans), Senuran Muthusamy (Dolphins), Tsepo Ndwandwa (SWD), Dane Piedt (Cape Cobras), Tabraiz Shamsi (Titans), Shaun von Berg (Titans)

Coaches

Malibongwe Maketa, Claude Henderson, Russell Domingo, Neil McKenzie

Here’s the Newsfeed: 

IPL 2018: Head Coach Ricky Ponting Joins Delhi Daredevils’ Pre-Season Camp

Cameron Bancroft To Not Join Somerset As An Overseas Player After Ball-Tampering Scandal

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Match Preview: Visiting India aim to overcome South Africa in first Test

Cape Town, Jan 4: After registering nine consecutive Test series victories since 2015, India will be duly tested in overseas conditions when they aim to overcome a formidable South Africa in the first of three match series at the Newlands here on Friday.

India maintained their Test series winning streak since defeating Sri Lanka 2-1 in their away series. The top ranked side in the longest format had also defeated South Africa on their own turf in the 2015-16 Freedom Trophy series.

However, India have not won against the Proteas on South African soil since 1992 — losing four and drawing one in 2010-11.

India will bank on their premier batsmen — Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli — who ended 2017 as the second and fourth highest runs scorers in the longset format respectively in the calender year to help their side maintain its top Test status.

Key Indian batsmen Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Murali Vijay and Lokesh Rahul will only look to add depth to the batting department.

Skipper Kohli might opt to play an extra batsman — Rohit Sharma — in place of Ravindra Jadeja, who is down with flu.

Pacer Jasprit Bumrah — who received his maiden call up in Test squad — alongside Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be tested against the fearsome South African batting on the green-top wicket.

Second ranked Test side South Africa, on the other hand will look to flourish on their home conditions under the likes of batsmen Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis.

The well set-up bowling department will be led by pacer Kagiso Rabada — who ranks second in the Test bowlers list alongside fit again Dale Steyn, right-armer Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander who will target to dismiss the visitors right from the start of the match.

Squads:

India: Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha(wicket-keeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Parthiv Patel, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, Lokesh Rahul. 

South Africa: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis(captain), Quinton de Kock (wicket-keeper), Andile Phehlukwayo, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Chris Morris, Vernon Philander, Theunis de Bruyn. 

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India-South Africa Test rubber named ‘Freedom Series’

Johannesburg, Dec 23: Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Friday named next month’s three-match Test series against India as “Freedom Series”.

The tour, originally labelled as the Friendship Series was South Africa’s way of reciprocating India’s efforts in ending the country’s sporting isolation in 1991.

“India had been among the principal opponents of apartheid. The Freedom Series was felt by both nations to be a more fitting name in recognition of South Africa’s and India’s shared history of winning freedom through non-violence, not to mention their shared love of cricket!” a CSA release stated.

A specially designed Freedom Series Trophy Podium will also commemorate the landmark series and will be unveiled in a special ceremony ahead of the opening Test, starting in Cape Town on January 5.

The other two Tests are scheduled to be played at Centurion (from January 13) and Johannesburg (from January 24).

cricket south africa

Cricket South Africa & Players Headed For Mediation In Postponed GLT20 Pay Settlement

With the unfortunate postponement of T20 Global League leaving the players miffed, Cricket South Africa( CSA) thinks mediation is the best way forward. The board is eyeing the step after failing to reach a settlement package with 144 players who had signed contracts to play in the league which was South Africa’s answer to leagues likes Indian Premier League and Big Bash League.

The first edition of the T20 Global League, originally scheduled to begin on November 3, was instead postponed to November 2018 due to numerous logistical challenges as well as the prospect of heavy financial losses.

The concerned parties have been negotiating over the compensation for close to a month with the players being represented by Tony Irish, the chief executive of both the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) and the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA).

Cricket South Africa & Players Headed For Mediation In Postponed GLT20 Pay Settlement 3
Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta also have teams in GLT20

Speaking to Cricbuzz, Irish made it clear that his party agrees to go to mediation which he thinks is the right step.

“We agreed to go to mediation on it, and I think that’s the appropriate process to follow. You negotiate, and if you haven’t reached a settlement then it’s normal to go to a mediation process. It’s a responsible process and it often happens where there is a big negotiation,” Irish told the news outlet.

“There are a lot of compromises that need to be made on both sides. But what we want is a fair outcome, and that’s what mediation is about,” he added.

Cricket South Africa & Players Headed For Mediation In Postponed GLT20 Pay Settlement 4
Tony Irish has ruled out the possibility of strike from players (Credits: HT)

The report went on to add that the many of the players are miffed with the way the league was postponed just a month before its scheduled start. But with the CSA willing to enter mediation, any drastic steps from the players like a strike is highly unlikely,

“Strike action may have been bandied around, but it’s not something that we want to be thinking about,” said Irish.

Meanwhile, the cricket board is also negotiating with the coaches that were contracted for the league and are being represented by the South African Professional Sports Coaches Association (SAPSCA). The coaches, however, are in a different position with the board since the recently-formed SAPSCA does not have a Memorandum of Understanding with CSA.

Video of the day: 

Cricket South Africa Launches Ram Slam T20

The Ram Slam T20 Challenge has been launched by Cricket South Africa and is scheduled to get underway on Friday evening at the St. George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.

The Warriors will host the VKB Knights in the opening fixture. It will also be the first time that new floodlights at Port Elizabeth will come into effect.

All the six franchises in the tournament will play their group games over the weekend. The first of the three double-headers will be featuring the WSB Cape Cobras against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins while the Multiply Titans will be locking horns with the bizhub Highveld Lions at the SuperSport Park in Centurion on Sunday.

There is some exciting news for the fans as the prize money for the “Catch a Million Competition” has been doubled and hence it will be a “Catch Two Million Competition”. The competition will get applied in all the matches telecasted by the SuperSport which requires a fan to hold on to catch completely one-handed catch. All the terms and conditions are available on the Cricket South Africa website (www.cricket.co.za)

CSA Acting Chief Executive Thabang Moroe said it was a great news for them.

“It is great news for our cricket to welcome Ram Hand to Hand Couriers back as one of our naming rights sponsors,” he said.

“We are particularly grateful to them for coming aboard at unavoidably short notice. This season’s competition, which will feature all our Standard Bank Proteas, will probably be the most significant since we launched the franchise concept in this format back in 2004.

“I don’t think any of us need reminding of the recent feats by the likes of David Miller and AB de Villiers in the recent international matches against Bangladesh. We now have the three quickest centuries in T20 International cricket all having been scored by Proteas in Miller, Richard Levi and Faf du Plessis and our fans are not going to be short of opportunities to bid for their share of the Catch Two Million prize money.

Cricket South Africa Launches Ram Slam T20 5
Image Courtesy: Cricket South Africa

“It reminds one of the quotes by one of our revered former players, Shaun Pollock, on TV that the ‘players are now becoming the spectators and the spectators are becoming the fielders’.

“There are going to be so many other potential highlights, not the least of these being the long-awaited return of Dale Steyn from injury.This is something that will be watched with anticipation not just here but around the world. The contest between our renowned big hitters and some of the world’s best fast and spin bowlers is going to be something to behold.

“Our players will also be sharpening their collective claws ahead of the tour by India in the new year which will feature international matches in all three formats.

“Another highlight will be the fact that all our grounds have been upgraded to the best international standards and this will enhance the experience for our loyal fans.

“I would also like to thank SuperSport for once again making their state-of-the-art facilities available for today’s function,” concluded Mr. Moroe.

Executive Chairman of Ram, Mr David Lazarus said,

Cricket South Africa Launches Ram Slam T20 6
Image Courtesy: Cricket South Africa.

“Ram is a proudly South African company. Our business has been built on partnership, reliability and delivering when it counts!”

“When we received the call from CSA regarding the opportunity the answer was an unequivocal yes as everything spoke directly to what we are about! We are excited to revive the Ram Slam and we challenge all South Africans to come and support their team and stand a chance to win their share of R2 million!”

Ram Slam T20 Challenge, Cricket South Africa, Title Sponsors, Two Million, Catch in Crowd, T20 Global League, Thabang Moroe
The competition received a timely boost from Ram Hand to Hand company. Photo Credit: Web/Google.

Cricket South Africa’s Ram Slam T20 Challenge to offer R2-million for a Spectator Catch

Of late, the courier company ‘Ram Hand to Hand’ decided to return as the title sponsors of the impending Cricket South Africa Ram Slam Twenty20 Challenge after the T20 Global League was deferred until November 2018 due to the unavoidable circumstances faced by the Proteas Board in September.

The interim chief executive of CSA Thabang Moroe has expressed satisfaction to see the company returning to add more value to the tournament which has already witnessed a lot of success in the recent past.

“It is great news for our cricket to welcome Ram Hand to Hand Couriers back as one of our naming rights sponsors,” Moroe said in a Board’s media release.

The breakthrough took place in Johannesburg on Tuesday (November 7) when CSA administrators in its press briefing revealed they had regained the door-to-door service providers Ram back in the fold for the domestic competition.

Ram Slam T20 Challenge, Cricket South Africa, Title Sponsors, Two Million, Catch in Crowd, T20 Global League, Thabang Moroe
Moroe is serving as the Vice-president of CSA. Photo Credit: CSA.

(Read Also: Bumrah Should Play Test In England and South Africa- Harsha Bhogle)

Moroe, who earlier replaced Haroon Lorgat added he is thankful for the timelier response from the Ram management to make the event possible.

“We are particularly grateful to them for coming aboard at unavoidably short notice,” Moroe added.

Interestingly, the match-fixing scandal in 2015-16 saw the premium competition losing an all-important naming sponsor for the season of 2016-17.

Moreover, the top-administrators of CSA were busy with the T20 Global League which subsequently witnessed as many as eight private partners for the distinct city-based teams of South Africa.

“We now have the three quickest centuries in T20 International cricket all having been scored by Proteas in Miller, Richard Levi and Faf du Plessis,” Moroe added.

Ram Slam T20 Challenge, Cricket South Africa, Title Sponsors, Two Million, Catch in Crowd, T20 Global League, Thabang Moroe
Ram Slam T20 Challenge will witness six teams wrestling for a title. Photo Credit: Web/Google.

(Read Further: New Zealand VS India 2017: Ravi Shastri visits a Temple Ahead of the T20I Series Decider)

The T20 competition would witness national players of the Proteas participate in the competition while representing their respective domestic teams.

The tournament will run between November 10 and December 16, as the curtain raiser will be played between Warriors and Knights in Port Elizabeth.

Ram Slam T20 Challenge, Cricket South Africa, Title Sponsors, Two Million, Catch in Crowd, T20 Global League, Thabang Moroe
The home-based competition is expected to boost the youngsters. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

The T20 tournament was known as Standard Bank Pro20 Series, as Ram is overall the third title sponsor in the Proteas fold.

With CSA already set to lose staggering amount following the collapse of its own T20 tournament.

The Board is bound to receive considerable amount to take care of proceedings which would further see the spectators fetching millions following a one-handed catch in the stands this time around.

“It reminds one of the quote by one of our revered former players, Shaun Pollock, on TV that the ‘players are now becoming the spectators and the spectators are becoming the fielders’,” Moroe further added.

Ram Slam T20 Challenge, Cricket South Africa, Title Sponsors, Two Million, Catch in Crowd, T20 Global League, Thabang Moroe
The old sponsor returned on board with CSA after a prolonged gap of two years. Photo Credit: Gallo Images.

Regarding the latest prize pool of money to attract avid followers of the gentleman’s game, the impending season would witness the cricket lovers take Rand2-million home which was referred as ‘Catch a million’ in the previously held editions of the eagerly-awaited competition.

“Our fans are not going to be short of opportunities to bid for their share of the Catch Two Million prize money,” Moroe concluded.

VIDEO OF THE DAY:

The SuperSport will telecast the matches after owing the broadcast right for the competition which has further witnessed a strained-relation owing to the negotiations of T20 Global League.

CSA T20 Challenge to Replace Global T20 League

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has announced a revised franchise schedule for 2017-18 which will see CSA T20 League replace the postponed Global T20 League in November-December window which was scheduled to take place at the end of the season.

All the national players contracted with CSA will be available for this tournament, as there are no international fixtures slated during this period.

CSA T20 Challenge to Replace Global T20 League 7
CSA’s acting Chief Executive, Thabang Moroe while addressing the media said that it would be an intriguing tournament, as all the national players will be available for selection for their respective franchises.

He further added it would be a treat for the fans in South Africa to watch their heroes battle it out before the international cricket starts with India and Australia touring Nelson Mandela’s country.

Sunfoil Series, T20 Global League, Cricket South Africa, Durban Storm
Photo Credit: Web/Google.

Notably, Global T20 League which was scheduled to start from November 3 got postponed to next year because of CSA’s inability to secure television broadcasting deal and media rights for the mega event.

One of the franchise owners was heard saying that Lorgat’s absence poised a much bigger challenge, as this event was a brainchild of Haroon Lorgat, the previous chief-executive of CSA who parted ways after his relationship with CSA became untenable.

However, Moroe admitted the league got postponed after discussing with the franchise owners, and the interest of the league is their priority.

CSA T20 Challenge to Replace Global T20 League 8

It will be a learning curve for the youngsters who are pushing through the Proteas level, as they get to play alongside the best cricketers of the country in this tournament.

The tournament has been known as CSA T20 Challenge since their sponsor Ram left after a spot-fixing scandal in the 2015-16 season. The team can sign two overseas players as earlier. The number of no- South-African cricketers may saw a cap, as the Kolpak players now fall into that category.

CSA T20 Challenge to Replace Global T20 League 9
Meanwhile, there is a change in the format, as the qualifier was struck off and replaced with two semifinal matches in a six-team event. CSA has planned double-headers at some venues which drew a substantial number of crowds in the previous years.

The final match is scheduled to be played on 16th December which is a public holiday in South Africa.

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