SA Vs BAN: Here's How IPL Money Power Hurting South Africa Cricket Team

South Africa's 'litmus test for loyalty' is failing with top players reportedly wanting to play IPL 2022 instead of the two Tests vs Bangladesh.

South Africans Kagiso Rabada (left) and David Miller want to play IPL 2022 and not Vs Bangladesh.

Several South African players have 'unanimously' chosen the Indian Premier League 2022 ahead of the upcoming two-match Test series versus Bangladesh at home. (More Cricket News)

Cricket South Africa is not the first Board to face this club vs country dilemma. Famous players like West Indian Chris Gayle and Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh have prioritised cash-rich T20 tournaments like IPL ahead of national assignments.

The South African ODI squad against Bangladesh includes eight players who are set to play in IPL 2022. Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Quinton de Kock, Aiden Markram, Dwaine Pretorius and Marco Jansen are expected to feature in the limited overs matches but may not be available for the Tests against Bangladesh, according to reports. 

South Africa’s three-match ODI series against Bangladesh concludes on March 23 and the IPL starts on March 26. CSA is keen that the top players represent the country in the ODIs at least.

But the South Africa vs Bangladesh Tests are the 'problem' as they start on March 31 and end on April 12. For top SA players, they want to play IPL.

Money And Exposure

From AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn to David Miller and Chris Morris, IPL has been like a happy minting ground. Money, fame and status have come in plenty and SA players have been respected and pampered by IPL teams.

Just last year, Chris Morris broke all records to become the costliest player sold at IPL auction history. He was bought by Rajasthan Royals for a whopping sum of INR 16.25 crore ahead of IPL 2021.

The lure of IPL money is too hard to ignore for international players, especially South Africans.

A South African player gets USD 4,500 per Test match as per the CSA central contracts of 2021-22. The amount is around INR 3,43,350. Even if a player plays both the Tests against Bangladesh, he will get INR 6,86,700 or say USD 9000.

Lungi Ngidi (middle) and Chris Morris (right) have been IPL regulars. BCCI

Compare this to what the South Africans stand to gain from IPL 2022. As per IPL 2022 salary, the eight players who have been selected for the Bangladesh ODIs will get the following in IPL: 

Kagiso Rabada (INR 9.25 crore, Punjab Kings)

Quinton de Kock (INR 6.25 crore, Lucknow Super Giants)

Marco Jansen (INR 4.20 crore, SunRisers Hyderabad)

David Miller (INR 3 crore, Gujarat Titans)

Aiden Markram (INR 2.60 crores, SunRisers Hyderabad)

Rassie van der Dussen (INR 1 crore, Rajasthan Royals)

Lungi Ngidi (INR 50 lakh, Delhi Capitals)

Dwaine Pretorius (INR 50 lakh, Chennai Super Kings)

It is clear that money in IPL is far greater than what the players can get even if they play an equal number of international matches.

However, money is not the only factor that sees players inclined towards IPL and even preferring it over national duty at times. The competitive platform that the marquee event offers and the thrill of playing it are the other attractions. 

Whatever be the rationale behind playing in IPL, skipping country’s matches just for the marquee T20 event cannot be justified. Additionally, it sets a bad precedence, especially for a country like South Africa and its cricket governing body CSA – the two of which are still struggling to get the game in the country back on track.