For the upcoming two-Test series, South Africa has announced the inclusion of seven uncapped players, along with appointing a new captain.Meanwhile, key South African cricketers are set to participate in the second season of SA20, a tournament jointly launched by CSA and IPL investors last year.
Former South African legend Brian McMillan also joined the chorus expressing his disappointment over CSA’s move and commended India and Virat Kohli for giving priority to Test cricket.
“I hope modern players are making enough money otherwise it’s very difficult to do business,” McMillan told PTI in an exclusive interview.
“It is very hard on players. One of our guys (Heinrich Klaasen) retired now and will obviously play in T20 league and I have got my views on how countries should run its players in essence. People make a name on essence.
“I think it’s a world feel that you have to give priority to one’s country and I think India has been doing it quite well. You finding Kohli and boys playing Test cricket is great.
South Africa name uncapped Neil Brand as captain for two-Test tour of New Zealand
“You don’t find them putting out Test to play BBL. Test cricket will be threatened, but I suppose, it will remain the ultimate game,” he opined.
Memories of Hero Cup and ‘Muscles Raju’
During his playing career, McMillan had many memorable on-field battles with India and friendships that he still savours.
There are two matches that fans won’t forget.
Once when Sachin Tendulkar stopped him from scoring the winning runs in the Hero Cup semifinal in 1993 and then when the Indian great got out off his delivery after scoring an epic 169 at Newlands, the second instance remembered more for a back-pedalling Adam Bacher taking a one-handed stunner.
“Little maestro… Got along really well with him and remembered that catch taken by Adam Bacher at the boundary and it was a flat wicket where we also got some runs,” he recollected.
About the Hero Cup game, he laughed.
“He took a single off fifth ball and four were needed off last ball. Just one of those things. I had good times in India and I have lot of mates.”
There was one picture from the 1990s which would have become viral in this day and age: McMillan, standing tall at 6 feet 4 inch, hugging a wiry, barely 5 and half feet tall Venkatapathy Raju.
It was McMillan who had nicknamed Raju ‘Muscles’.
“Muscles Raju, a very good cricketer and very good mate of mine. Same series (1996), I think Salil Ankola came and WV Raman.
“We did quite well against India and got to know them quite well, 30 years later we still keep in touch and Muscles was a wonderful fellow.”
(With PTI Inputs)