While the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to start in a week from now, there is tension brewing in South Africa as Cricket South Africa (CSA) is undecided on when they wish to release their players for the T20 league in India.
With the World Cup round the corner and the upcoming T20I series against Sri Lanka their last international commitment before the showpiece event ends on March 24, CSA feels that the players must finish the series before they leave for India. But the players are keen to be present from the start of the 12th edition of the cash-rich league.
Speaking to IANS, a CSA official said that the CEO Thabang Moroe, president Chris Nenzani and the coach Ottis Gibson are meeting at the Newlands Stadium in Cape Town to decide on the date of release of the players.
"The three are meeting in Newlands today and will decide on when the Proteas players will be released for the IPL. While there is no doubt that the players are keen to be a part of the T20 league, it is also true that they are committed to play for the country. An outcome is expected on this soon," the official said.
Speaking to IANS, a senior BCCI functionary confirmed the issue with the dates and said that a final call on the players from South Africa is expected soon.
"The South African players are currently busy with international commitments as the team is playing the last of the 5-match ODI series on Saturday and will then play three T20Is. The last T20I ends on March 24, so it will not be possible for those picked in the T20I squad for the Lanka series to come before March 25," he said.
The BCCI is expected to release the complete schedule of the IPL on Monday.
Speaking to IANS, a BCCI official in the know of developments said: "It is expected that the remaining schedule for this season of the IPL would be finalised and announced on Monday when the CoA meets (at the Trident Hotel).
"The IPL COO and his team are working overtime on this and it is a credit to them that the BCCI can even hope of holding the entire season in India this year," he revealed.