In order to be present for two World Cup Super League (WCSL) matches against the Netherlands, David Miller and other possible members of South Africa’s ODI team were required to miss the start of this year’s IPL, and Gujarat Titans were “very furious” about this decision.
The games against the Dutch are slated on March 31 in Benoni and April 2 at Wanderers. The IPL begins on March 31 in Ahmedabad with a match between Titans, the defending champions, and Chennai Super Kings.
In order for South Africa to directly qualify for the World Cup in India in October and November, they likely need to win both ODI matches. Yet David Miller will receive USD380,000 from the Titans this season for his services. What did people think about his absence during the first game?
“They were really upset,” David Miller told a press conference in Potchefstroom on Monday. “It’s always a big thing playing in Ahmedabad, especially in an opening game against Chennai. I am a bit disappointed to be missing that, but to put on the green and gold has always been a huge privilege and honour. And we have got some work to do in those two games against the Netherlands, so I think having a strong team – the best squad we can pick – is definitely the way forward. I will be missing one game so, whether I’m somewhat disappointed or not, the process has taken place.”
All South Africans signed on by IPL franchises will be subject to the same rules. Although the team for the ODI series against the Netherlands has not yet been announced, David Miller is likely to be included along with Sunrisers Hyderabad players Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, and Marco Jansen, as well as Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi of the Delhi Capitals, Tristan Stubbs and Dewald Brevis of the Mumbai Indians, Quinton de Kock of the Lucknow Super Giants, and Kagiso Rabada of the Punjab Kings. Prior to the South African delegation being able to go for India, all 10 IPL teams will be in competition.
Similar circumstances occurred prior to the start of the IPL in 2017, when Rabada, Ngidi, Jansen, Markram, and Rassie van der Dussen opted to participate in the competition rather than a home Test series against Bangladesh. The players were then given the choice by CSA.
“We weren’t given an option in any way,” David Miller said when he was asked who had made the call – meaning CSA, which has the right to refuse to release contracted players for franchise leagues, put their foot down in the national cause. “Be that as it may, we’ve got our best squad on the park and we’ve got a lot of work to do in those two games. So it will be nice to be able to focus on that,” Miller said.
After assisting Multan Sultans in reaching the PSL final in Lahore on Saturday, which Lahore Qalandars won by one run, he had just arrived back in South Africa. Miller consequently missed the first two ODIs against South Africa and the West Indies, which were not eligible for WCSL points.
The first match, scheduled for Thursday in East London but postponed due to rain, was won by the Windies by 48 runs on Saturday at the same location. Tuesday in Potchefstroom marks the series’ conclusion.