Proteas Test coach Shukri Conrad has defended CSA’s decision to send a severely-depleted squad to New Zealand next month.
With no SA20 players available for selection due to a scheduling clash, Conrad was forced to name a 14-man squad that includes seven new caps, including captain Neil Brand.
Former Australia captain Steve Waugh accused CSA of not caring about Test cricket, while Proteas stand-in skipper Dean Elgar said before the second Test against India that he was saddened by the decline of Test cricket in South Africa.
“I don’t think Steve is going to really care what I say, but I love how everybody outside of South Africa has become experts on South African cricket,” Conrad told reporters after the Proteas’ loss at Newlands on Thursday.
“Our hands have been forced. I think everybody understands that the SA20 league has to happen.
“Yes, there was ‘cock-up’ or should I say, ‘ball-up’ with the scheduling, and this is where we find ourselves.
“The SA20 has to happen because it is, and is going to be the lifeblood of South African cricket,” added Conrad.
“If it doesn’t happen, we won’t have Test cricket anyway. So it’s unfortunate that it is the way it is.
“We all saw the value of the league last year, and I’ve said it from day one that we’ve got to find a way to coexist with the league.
“We’ve got to coexist with leagues around the world to ensure the sustainability. Maybe the powers higher up also need to start taking a few stances in terms of where Test cricket sits for nations outside of, shall we say, the big three.”
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