Proteas stars return for Pro20

Cricket South Africa last week announced details of the release of nationally contracted players back to their respective franchises for the Standard Bank Pro20 competition following extensive discussions with the CSA medical committee, the sponsors and the franchises.

Cricket South Africa last week announced details of the release of nationally contracted players back to their respective franchises for the Standard Bank Pro20 competition following extensive discussions with the CSA medical committee, the sponsors and the franchises.

"Cricket South Africa acknowledges the great demands that the 2008-09 cricket season has placed on our national cricketers," commented chief executive Gerald Majola.

"The stresses and strains of international cricket have resulted in an increasing number of injuries to our players. This, in addition to the significant psychological and emotional strain of international competition and touring, risks affecting our future performances.

"We have already had injuries to Graeme Smith, Monde Zondeki, Ashwell Prince and Mark Boucher during the Australia series resulting in their returning home for treatment and rehabilitation. In addition a number of other players suffered less debilitating but nevertheless significant injuries.

"The challenges also need to be viewed against the demands of the forthcoming return tour of Australia to South Africa in which the public will demand a performance equivalent to or better than our performance in Australia.

"Furthermore, scientific research has clearly demonstrated that pace bowlers are at increased risk of injury above a certain threshold of overs bowled.

"Cricket South Africa is also cognizant of the wishes of our Franchise teams, sponsors and the public at large who wish to see our national players in action in the Standard Bank Pro20 series," added Majola.

In view of this and considering the advice of the medical committee CSA has taken the following decisions:

l Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher will not be able to play in the Pro20 because of their injuries;

l The bowlers who bore a large part of the burden in the Australian series will only be cleared to play should their franchise teams reach the final. The players are Morne Morkel, Makhaya Ntini and Dale Steyn.

l Jacques Kallis will also only be cleared to play should his franchise reach the final. AB de Villiers is cleared to play in both the semifinals and final of the tournament; and

l Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Neil McKenzie, Johan Botha, Herschelle Gibbs and Albie Morkel are free to play in the remainder of the tournament with close monitoring by our medical teams, as well as the franchise medical personnel. - Sapa

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