Aussies unhappy with 'chucker' Botha as captain
SOUTH Australia’s decision to award Johan Botha the captaincy of their franchise for the next two seasons has been met with stinging criticism in Adelaide.
According to the website www.adelaidenow.com.au, South Australian greats have slammed the move with former Baggy Green offspinner Ashley Mallett calling it “ridiculous”.
Mallett, who has assisted with the coaching of young South African spinners from time to time, went on to say that appointing a skipper who has faced questions about his bowling action is “encouraging chuckers”.
The 29-year-old Botha was cleared of throwing by the ICC in 2009 but was instructed by the body not to bowl the offending “doosra”.
“We shouldn’t be encouraging chuckers, and he’’s got a very questionable action. So I hope he can bat,” the website quotes Mallett as saying.
“The first thing the South Australia Cricket Association want to do is get rid of the selectors. All of them. You can’t have the same selectors if you come last in the Shield three seasons in a row.”
Botha has been released from his national contract effective after the ICC World T20 in Sri Lanka, in September.
He announced his decision to play for South Australia after helping South Africa to victory over India in a T20 international at the Wanderers on Friday.
The Australian season runs concurrently with South Africa’s summer so that has effectively ruled him out of contention for the Proteas and the Warriors for the next two seasons.
The fact that Botha is replacing is replacing Australian Michael Klinger is also being questioned.
Former fast bowler Eric Freeman, who played in South Australia’s champion 1970-71 Shield side bolstered by South African Barry Richards and skipper Ian Chappell, said using the captaincy to lure Botha undermined the honour of leading the state side.
“I’m absolutely stunned. I don’t approve of it at all,” Freeman said. “It really is selling the captaincy. I still think Klinger’s done all right – he’s been leading from the front even in the Sheffield Shield matches. I’m just amazed they’ve gone outside to appoint a captain who knows nothing about the Shield scene here.”
Klinger has enjoyed some success as South Australia’s captain by leading them to the KFC Big Bash title in 2010-2011 and this season’s domestic one-day title.
But in his two seasons in charge, South Australia have finished last in the Sheffield Shield.
Botha played for the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash during the South African domestic season in December and January.
He said he could not turn another chance to join them.
“I remain fully committed to the Proteas in the long term,” he said, “but I would hate to look back on my career at the end and regret that I did not take this opportunity.
“It is purely a cricket decision and there is no financial incentive in accepting it. If anything I will be earning less than I would as a contracted player.”
Botha was not available for comment yesterday as he was en route to India where he will play for the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League which starts tomorrow.