Cape Town - Acting CEO Jacques Faul on Tuesday distanced Cricket South Africa (CSA) from comments appearing in the media on the quality of the New Zealand Black Caps team which arrives in South Africa this week to play the Proteas in all three formats.
“It is fundamental at any level of sport to respect the opposition regardless of the team they put in the field,” commented Faul. “In the first place it is none of our business to comment on New Zealand domestic matters and secondly I have at no stage criticised their selection or expressed disappointment in comments to the media in either South Africa or New Zealand.
“What I have said is that it helps to have big name players in the touring side and the Black Caps can rely on the experience of Brendon McCullum, James Franklin and Chris Martin who have done well in South Africa on previous tours.
“The fact of the matter is that our Proteas have not played at home for almost a year. In the interim they have conquered both England and Australia in impressive style and our very loyal fans can’t wait to see our boys in action again. Their deeds have gripped the imagination of the public not just here but around the world.
“We saw through the performances of Dale Steyn and AB de Villiers in the Momentum One-Day Cup Eliminator at the weekend the level to which the Proteas are playing and I have absolutely no doubt that our fans will, as usual, turn out in huge numbers to support them.
“We look forward to welcoming the Black Caps here later this week and we are well aware of their ability to perform on the international stage. No South African player or fan needs reminding of what happened in our quarter-final at the last ICC World Cup.
“The fact is that they have just drawn a Test series away in Sri Lanka which is a major achievement while their new captain, Brendon McCullum, recently played the highest individual innings in the history of T20 International cricket.
“They have a new group of young players, particularly in their fast bowling department, who are not to be under-estimated.”