Cricket South Africa (CSA) director Graeme Smith has extended his support to the Proteas players taking part in IPL 2021. He insisted that the while the CSA will assist with the players' rescue should there be any concerns, the ultimate decision rests with the cricketers.
With the rising COVID-19 cases in India, several overseas players have been in a fix whether to continue playing the IPL or return home. Adding to their fears, the deadly virus has crept into the bio-bubbles as well, raising a lot of concerns.
"We've offered support to the players and made ourselves available to them should there be any concerns. Ultimately, it is in their hands to make a choice (continued participation)," Graeme Smith was quoted as saying by iol.co.za.
As many as 11 South African players are taking part in IPL 2021, including wicket-keeper-batsman Quinton de Kock, ace pacer Kagiso Rabada, and former captain Faf du Plessis.
Graeme Smith under pressure after South Africa's recent poor performances
Graeme Smith has come under the pump recently after South Africa's dismal performance against Pakistan in the home series. The Proteas lost both the ODI and T20I series to the Asian team, resulting in growing calls for Mark Boucher to be sacked as the team's head coach.
The media, former players and fans have been trying to pressurize the former Proteas skipper into enforcing reforms in South African cricket.
However, former Test opener Alviro Petersen doesn't feel Graeme Smith will take a harsh call on Mark Boucher, adding that the duo share a great friendship.
"Unfortunately‚ Mark Boucher and Graeme Smith have a very good and friendly relationship since their playing days and it is highly unlikely that Smith will fire his friend. Unfortunately, that is the position that we are in as a cricketing country and we have to deal with that," Petersen said.
South Africa will next play a limited-overs series against Ireland, starting on July 11.