Opinion: IPL or county cricket - you decide

Fielder throws cricket ball in

It's that time of year, when many Proteas players head off to county cricket and several more take part in the Indian Premier League. The debate, always, is who is benefitting more. Cricket, not financial, advantage, that is.

Club v country nullified

While AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock and a host of others cash in at the IPL, Hashim Amla, Dean Elgar and company are plying their trade at Hampshire and beyond. Neither contingent, this year at least, were confronted by a tough choice. Amla, etc, were not picked up at the IPL player auction earlier this year, while de Kock, et al, didn’t have counties knocking at their agents' doors. While the questions that surrounded players putting their club before their country in the past were rife, they've quietened somewhat this year.

Morris messing around

It's a real pity that Chris Morris couldn't land a county gig, though. If anyone, his future ambition is being damaged - not improved - in the IPL. Being belted to all corners across four-over allotments on slow wickets, rather than putting in hard, lengthy spells on conducive English pitches is really harming his reputation as a long-format cricketer. Over recent months, he genuinely seems to have lost career direction – and needs a long, hard think alongside Proteas head coach Ottis Gibson and other mentors.

The right move from Steyn

Dale Steyn, meanwhile, has made the correct decision by joining Hampshire rather than an IPL franchise - public relations- and cricket-wise. The same fans who were quick to accuse de Villiers of being picky about when and where he played for the Proteas would have been entirely miffed had Steyn chosen to channel his return from injury via Bangalore and surrounds.

Steyn is, of course, pushing for a return to Test cricket in July's series in Sri Lanka. Given the sub-continental similarity in conditions between Colombo and, say, Chennai, one could argue that the Proteas pace ace would have been better off in India right now. That argument could be countered with the fact that 'shotgun' four-over bursts count for very little compared to the lengthy spells required in county competition.

Don't forget Delport

Among all the big-ticket names in the IPL, lest we forget the presence of Cameron Delport. His chance to debut for the Proteas T20I outfit has probably come and gone, but the Dolphins star has forged a lucrative career in domestic Twenty20 global leagues around the world, including the T20 Blast in the United Kingdom, Big Bash League in Australia, Pakistan Super League, Hong Kong Twenty20 Blitz – and now the IPL. Stay tuned for his Kolkata Knight Riders, soon enough, hopefully.

The views expressed above are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Hollywoodbets.

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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