Steve Waugh slams South Africa’s depleted squad for NZ Test series

Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh (image: CA)

The former Australian cricketer Steve Waugh wants ICC and other top cricket boards to step in for South Africa naming a depleted red-ball squad for the upcoming New Zealand Test series.

Steve Waugh slams South Africa’s depleted squad

The ex-Australia skipper Steve Waugh has slammed the International Cricket Council and other top boards like BCCI for not caring about the Test cricket format after South Africa named the squad for the New Zealand Test series.

This is because CSA prioritized the T20 league over the longest format. the South Africa cricket board named a second-string Test squad against New Zealand which included seven uncapped players, including a new captain for the two-match Test series.

The top cricketers are contracted to play in the second season of SA20 which is set to be played next month. According to CSA, no player contracted to SA20 franchises is eligible for selection for the Tests.

“Obviously, they don’t care. It’s going to happen if the South African cricket board are any indication of the future, keeping their best players at home,” Waugh told the media.

“If I was New Zealand, I wouldn’t even play the series. I don’t know why they’re even playing. Why would you when it shows a lack of respect for New Zealand cricket?” asked Waugh.

“Is this a defining moment in the death of Test cricket? Surely the ICC along (with) the cricket boards of India, England, and Australia must step in to protect the purest form of the game.

“History and tradition must count for something. If we stand by and allow profits to be the defining criteria, the legacy of (Sir Don) Bradman, (WG) Grace, and (Sir Garfield) Sobers will be irrelevant,” he wrote.

South Africa has prioritized its domestic T20 league over international cricket. They forfeited an ODI series in Australia to have the top players feature in the first edition of the South Africa T20 league.

“If the ICC or someone doesn’t step in shortly then Test cricket doesn’t become Test cricket because you’re not testing yourself against the best players.

“I understand why players don’t come. They’re not getting paid properly.

“I don’t understand why ICC or the top countries, who are making a lot of money, don’t just have a regulation set fee for Test matches which is a premium, so people are incentivised to play Test cricket.

“Otherwise, they just play T10 or T20. The public are the ones who are going to suffers because it’s not the full side playing, so it’s not Test cricket,” Waugh said.

He also mentioned that Pakistan didn’t send their full-strength team for Pakistan’s Australia tour in 2023.

“It’s pretty obvious what the problem is. The West Indies aren’t sending their full-strength side (to Australia this summer). They haven’t picked a full-strength Test team for a couple of years now.

“Someone like Nicholas Pooran is really a Test batsman who doesn’t play Test cricket. Jason Holder, probably their best player, is not playing now. Even Pakistan didn’t send a full side (to Australia),” he added.

South Africa and New Zealand will be playing their first Test match starting on February 04 at Bay Oval.