A number of regular starters for South Africa are not featuring in their series-deciding third and final ODI against Pakistan at SuperSport Park in Centurion today. Players like David Miller, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi and Quinton de Kock have already left for India to adhere to the mandatory seven-day quarantine protocol ahead of the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), starting from next Friday.
And former ODI skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza said that he can't even imagine the kind of fuss that would have been created if any Bangladeshi player did what the South African cricketers did.
"David Miller, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Quinton de Kock. All these players are in good form and played well in the first two ODIs. Today I see that none of these players are playing in the series decider. And I realized that they would have to adhere to the quarantine protocol for IPL. 30 per cent of the game has been played but there is no fuss about this anywhere or even in the commentary box. Can't even imagine what would have happened had one of us [Bangladeshi players] did something like this. May Allah be with you Shakib and Mustafizur [Rahman]," wrote Mashrafe on his personal Facebook account today.
Despite a number of important South African players leaving early to play in the cash-rich league, very little or no fuss has been created by their local media or their cricket board.
However, a lot of discussion and criticism ensued after premier all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan decided to opt out of the Test series in Sri Lanka to play for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL this season. Shakib was even slammed by many media outlets for choosing IPL over the country and the 34-year-old all-rounder also came under scrutiny for accusing the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), and particularly cricket operations committee chairman Akram Khan, of misinterpreting his letter to BCB seeking permission to skip Sri Lanka Tests in order to play in IPL.