Dale Benkenstein joins ICL; ends 15-year association with Natal

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Johannesburg, Nov 8 (UNI) South African all-rounder Dale Benkenstein has signed up with the multi-million dollar Indian Cricket League (ICL), thus ending his 15-year-old association with the domestic side KwaZulu-Natal.

At one stage in his career, the 33-year-old former Natal captain who made his debut for the national side way back in 1998 against England in Dhaka, was earmarked as Hansie Cronje's successor to take up the reigns of national side. But because of his inconsistent show, he was never a regular member in the national side.

Benkenstein announced on Tuesday, his decision to leave the domestic side saying the rebel league had made him a late offer. He thus became the second Natal player, after all-rounder Lance Klusener, to join the ICL.

''For the last 15 years my working life has been KwaZulu-Natal cricket, but I must also consider my future,'' said Benkenstein, who represented South Africa in 23 ODIs, the last being in 2002 against Bangladesh in Benoni.

''There are some great names playing in the league, and also the financial package is something that would normally have taken me six years to earn.

''There aren't many years left in my career, and, at the end of the day, cricket is a business,'' he added.

Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union's chief executive Cassim Docrat has confirmed the all-rounder's decision and had released him from the services of the team.

''It is with regret that we have to release Dale Benkenstein from his contract,'' Docrat told 'Independent Online' newspaper.

''He was expected to play a major role for us this season.

However, we understand his position in this matter and so we have decided, on his request, to release him.

''We have always seen Dale as a very loyal and committed cricketer. He's given 100 per cent, if not more, to KwaZulu-Natal cricket and we believe he still has a lot to offer,'' Natal chief added.

If Cricket South Africa (CSA) adhere to their 'no tolenrance' policy on players joining the private league, Benkenstein would never be allowed to play for the Dolphins or any other South African team in future.

UNI

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