Proteas to miss first week of IPL

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Kanpur, Apr 10 (UNI) The Indian Premier League's (IPL) South African recruits are all set to miss the inaugural edition of cash rich event as their national board has decided to give preference to its domestic Standard Bank Pro20 tournament.

''The players will be returning home to play in the semifinals and final of the tournament. The semifinals are scheduled on April 18 and 19 and the final is on April 25,'' the South African team's media manager Michael Owen-Smith said here today.

The decision would mean that players like Jacques Kallis, Graeme Smith, Mark Boucher, Dale Steyn and Makhaya Ntini will be available for the semi-finals and finals of the domestic competition and will fly back to India only after April 25.

Owen-Smith further added that the players will be immediately available for the IPL once they get free with their domestic duties.

''However, players whose team fails to make it to the final would be available to IPL immediately after the semi-final,'' Owen Smith added.

The Proteas will now fly back to South Africa via Dubai after the crucial third Test.

UNI MB RAR BD1958

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