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IPL 2021: Shahid Afridi criticizes Cricket South Africa for releasing players in the middle of Pakistan series

David Miller, Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada
David Miller, Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada
ANALYST
Modified 08 Apr 2021
News

Shahid Afridi has criticized Cricket South Africa (CSA) for allowing its players to leave for the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the middle of their ODI series against Pakistan.

David Miller, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Quinton de Kock, and Lungi Ngidi missed the final ODI against Pakistan on Wednesday as they headed to India for the IPL.

Taking to his official Twitter account, Afridi described CSA’s decision as surprising. He wrote:

“Surprising to see @OfficialCSA allowing players to travel for IPL in the middle of a series. It is sad to see T20 leagues influencing international cricket. Some rethinking needs to be done!!”

Pakistan defeated a significantly weakened South Africa in the final ODI in Centurion to clinch the three-match series 2-1.

Batting first, Pakistan scored 320 for 7 in their 50 overs. Opener Fakhar Zaman (101) registered his second successive hundred and featured in a 112-run stand for the first wicket with Imam-ul-Haq (57). Skipper Babar Azam scored a brilliant 94 off 82 balls.

In reply, South Africa were bowled out for 292, despite fifties from Janneman Malan (70), Kyle Verreynne (62) and Andile Phehlukwayo (54). Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Nawaz picked up three scalps each as Pakistan won the match by 28 runs.

IPL 2021 all set to kick off on Friday

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The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to start on Friday, April 9. Defending champions Mumbai Indians will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening match of IPL 2021 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

IPL 2021 will be played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 threat. Last year the tournament was held in the UAE.

Even as the IPL returns to India, there is an air of uncertainty surrounding the tournament. The likes of Axar Patel, Devdutt Padikkal, Nitish Rana, and Daniel Sams have tested positive for COVID-19 over the last few days. But Padikkal and Rana tested negative in subsequent reports.

Keeping the safety factor in mind, IPL 2021 will be played at a few select venues across India in a bio-secure environment.

Published 08 Apr 2021, 10:14 IST
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