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Nel dropped, threatens to quit

Temperamental S African fast bowler Andre Nel, who has been dropped from their Test squad to tour India, has threatened to quit South African cricket.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, Johannesburg
UPDATED ON MAR 12, 2008 10:27 PM IST

South Africa on Tuesday night dropped temperamental Andre Nel from their Test squad to tour India later this month due to compulsions of including coloured players. The fiery fast bowler has threatened to quit South African cricket.

The 14-member squad has swing bowler 33-year-old Charl Langeveldt who has 16 wickets from six Tests as against 30-year-old Andre Nel's 119 wickets in 34 Tests.

The transformation deal agreed to by the selectors makes it mandatory for them to include six coloured players in a squad of 14 and seven in a 15-member team.

Langeveldt joins J.P. Duminy, Peterson, Makhaya Ntini, Ashwell Prince and Hashim Amla as the six coloured players in the squad.

Thirty-year-old Nel was so livid at being dropped for reasons other than cricket that he initially refused to play in the Dhaka One-Dayer against Bangladesh Wednesday. Coach Mickey Arthur had to talk him into playing the game and he ended up claiming four wickets for 27 runs.

Left-arm spinner Paul Harris returns after missing the two Tests in Bangladesh because of minor surgery.

Another left-arm spinner in the squad is Robin Peterson, who in the Chittagong Test against Bangladesh, had his first five-wicket haul. Off-spinner Johan Botha has been sacrificed to accommodate two left-armers.

Nel has reportedly been offered highly lucrative offers by both the Indian Premier League and the rebel Indian Cricket League. He also has an offer to play in the English County Championship. If he accepts either ICL or the County offer, he will render himself ineligible to play for South Africa.

Veteran Herschelle Gibbs again finds himself out of Test consideration with Neil McKenzie forcing his way back with a double century in a world-record opening stand with skipper Graeme Smith.

Convenor of selectors Joubert Strydom was not available to comment on the selection.

The squad for Bangladesh had to be recast after Cricket South Africa president Norman Arendse refused to approve the squad originally chosen as it had only four black players. Finally, Peterson replaced Harris who withdrew at the last minute.

CSA chief executive Gerald Majola had to announce the squad that led to a conflict between him and Arendse. It was resolved after an extraordinary general council meeting of the CSA that worked out a strategy come up with a more racially representative national team.

South Africa will play Tests in Chennai, Ahmedabad and Kanpur on their Indian tour, starting March 26.


Graeme Smith (Captain), Ashwell Prince (Vice-Captain), Hashim Amla, Mark Boucher, A.B. de Villiers, J.P. Duminy, Paul Harris, Jacques Kallis, Charl Langeveldt, Neil McKenzie, Morne Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn.

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