Graeme Smith’s tentative appetite for international cricket must have been whetted when he slammed 57 for the Virgo Super Kings in the Masters Champions League.
The 35-year-old former Proteas captain is wondering if he did not retire too early, and said he would use this tournament to gauge his enthusiasm and application. His first foray was not too encouraging, lasting five balls for 0, but he was in fine form on Wednesday, smacking three fours and five sixes from his 42 balls.
He and Neil McKenzie (26), his long-time Test partner of yesteryear, put on 44 for the first wicket in six overs, and the Super Kings surged on to a challenging total of 168 which was enough for a five-run victory over the Libra Legends.
Jacques Kallis (43) led the response for the Legends, side by side with Michael Lumb (54) as they put on 102 for the first wicket. But they took 13 overs to do it, and despite Ryan ten Doeschate slamming 43 off 23, they had lost the momentum.
The Saffas in the series have had mixed fortunes, and apart from a 62 from Richard Levi in the opening match of the series, they haven’t set the desert alight.
Robin Peterson has scored 15 in two innings and taken 1-42 in total; Rory Kleinveldt 2-50 and six from his two matches.
The CSA is privately seething about the participation of some of the players who had been involved in domestic league. They have asked the ICC to step in.
While Alviro Petersen and Ryan McLaren were refused permission to participate, and stayed behind to fulful their duties, there is confusion over the status of Peterson and Kleinveldt.
Cricket South Africa chief executive Haroon Lorgat commented, rather enigmatically: ‘CSA is not satisfied with invitations being extended to current cricketers playing in our domestic competitions as the tournament was intended solely for retired players.
‘This issue together with certain players participating in the tournament without being cleared by their national federations was discussed at the ICC CEC meeting [on Monday]. As a result the ICC will follow up with the Emirates Cricket Board who are responsible for ensuring that the MCL is properly managed.’