Kanpur:Not ready to let their domestic tournaments suffer because of the Indian Premier League, Cricket South Africa has instructed its players to return home to play the semi-final and final of the Standard Bank Pro20 tournament before competing in the IPL.
Accordingly, Graeme Smith and his colleagues will return home after the third and final Test against India to play in the domestic tournament, which means they are set to miss the first week's action in the IPL which gets underway on April 18.
"The players will be returning home to play in the semifinals and final of the tournaments. The semifinals are scheduled on April 18 and 19 and the final is on April 25," South African team's media manager Michael Owen-Smith told PTI here today.
Incidentally, Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, Ashwell Prince, Mark Boucher, Makhaya Ntini, Morne Morkel, AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn were originally allowed to stay back after the Kanpur Test.
But realising that their absence would rob the tournament of its sheen, Cricket South Africa has instructed them to return home to complete domestic assignments.
"However, players whose team fails to make it to the final would be available to IPL immediately after the semi-final," Owen-Smith added.