Kallis, Boucher, Prince to skip Pro20

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/j/jacqueskallis.jpg' class='caption'> The Western Cape Cobras team released Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher and Ashwell Prince &quot;with full blessings&quot; to play the full course of the IPL.

Updated: April 16, 2008 13:07 IST
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South African stars Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher and Ashwell Prince will stay back to play in the lucrative Indian Premier League from the beginning of the tournament itself.

The three did not make it to the Cape Cobras team for the domestic Pro 20 semifinals.

However, captain Graeme Smith figured in the Cobras team announced and he will not play in the BCCI-backed Twenty20 league for Rajasthan Royals till his domestic commitments are over.

Six South Africans in the Test squad for the just concluded series against India -- Smith, J P Duminy, Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher, Ashwell Prince and Monde Zondeki - were available for selection but Cobras team management decided to include only Smith and Duminy.

Cape Cobras play Titans in the first semifinal on April 18 at Newlands in Cape Town while Diamond Eagles play Dolphins in the second semifinal on April 20.

Dale Steyn, brothers Albie and Morne Morkel and A B de Villiers play for the Titans and are likely to miss the initial IPL action. The same will be the case for Loots Bosman of the Diamond Eagles.

The final of the domestic Pro20 tournament is slated for April 25.

Earlier, the Titans said they were offered a hefty sum to release their players so that they could play in the IPL from the beginning but turned it down.

An offer of more than USD 100,000 was reportedly made to the Cape Cobras as well.

Kallis and Boucher will play for Rahul Dravid-led Royal Challengers while Prince will don Sachin Tendulkar's Mumbai Indians' colours.

Herschelle Gibbs will also miss the initial IPL action for Deccan Chargers as he was also named in the Cobras squad.

Cricket South Africa has instructed the players to return home after the Test series for the Pro 20 before going back for the IPL.

But today's decision leaves Kallis, Boucher and Prince free to stay on in India if CSA gives them the go ahead.

"The Cobras selectors have now made their call and our three players can now participate in the launch of the IPL with the full blessing of Western Cape Cobras. Indeed, the team was selected early so that they knew where they stood and were not unnecessarily inconvenienced," Cobra CEO Andre Odendaal said.

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