Mc­Cle­naghan writes off South Africa T20

The New Zealand Herald - - SPORT - An­drew Alder­son

Bowler Mitchell Mc­Cle­naghan has given him­self a two-out-of10 chance of get­ting com­pen­sa­tion from the post­poned first sea­son of the South African T20 Global League.

The tour­na­ment with the big name has so far de­liv­ered a zero re­turn for 144 play­ers signed with the prom­ise of em­ploy­ment for six weeks’ cricket in the repub­lic.

De­lays in se­cur­ing sta­ble broad­cast and spon­sor­ship deals were listed as key rea­sons for the fail­ure.

“I’ll prob­a­bly write it off and re­set,” Mc­Cle­naghan told Ra­dio Sport. “If noth­ing else even­tu­ates, I’ll spend more time at home, go back to Auck­land and po­ten­tially play four­day cricket.

“I’m swing­ing the ball in the nets, so if [New Zealand coach] Mike Hes­son is lis­ten­ing, I could be a test op­tion.”

Irony drips off that last state­ment.

Mc­Cle­naghan re­quested to ter­mi­nate his New Zealand Cricket con­tract in Au­gust so he could work as a Twenty20 free­lancer.

The 31-year-old left-armer chose con­tract work in over­seas leagues over earn­ing a reg­u­lar salary. That was af­firmed when he signed with the Dur­ban Qa­lan­ders.

Stan­dard T20 con­tracts — out­side the In­dian Premier League — are worth an es­ti­mated US$30,000-US$50,000 ($42,400-$70,700) in most fran­chise com­pe­ti­tions.

In ad­di­tion to his IPL deal with Mum­bai In­di­ans this year, Mc­Cle­naghan played for the St Lu­cia Stars in the Caribbean Premier League and has a con­tract with the Syd­ney Thun­der in the Big Bash League.

Mc­Cle­naghan could still com­pete in the Bangladesh Premier League dur­ing the Global League time frame, but the queue will be long and money scarce.

Cu­ri­ously, he will be in In­dia in­ter­view­ing play­ers for his Be­hind The Seams web­site while New Zealand tour there.

Hes­son con­firmed that no place would be ex­tended to Mc­Cle­naghan for the as­sign­ment. The Black Caps fly out to In­dia tonight.

“To put it sim­ply, I think I’m un­em­ployed at the minute. It’s a bit of a train wreck, but it’s a case of keep your head up and move on,” Mc­Cle­naghan said. “I found out a cou­ple of hours be­fore the an­nounce­ment when Grant El­liott — who was set to help coach our side — said ‘it doesn’t look good and will prob­a­bly get binned’.

“It’s dis­ap­point­ing it’s ended this way af­ter get­ting so many peo­ple into the com­pe­ti­tion and hyp­ing it up so much.”

The tour­na­ment was due to fea­ture Mc­Cle­naghan and fel­low New Zealan­der Bren­don McCul­lum, who had signed for the Jo’burg Gi­ants. For­mer Black Caps cap­tain Stephen Flem­ing was set to coach the Stel­len­bosch Kings.

“There were good teams in be­hind it and the signs of fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity were pos­i­tive from a play­ing point of view,” Mc­Cle­naghan said. “That’s why I chose South Africa rather than Bangladesh . . . but that has blown up in my face.

“We’re leav­ing it in the hands of the NZCPA [ New Zealand Cricket Play­ers As­so­ci­a­tion], FICA [Fed­er­a­tion of In­ter­na­tional Crick­eters’ As­so­ci­a­tions] and SACA [South African Crick­eters’ As­so­ci­a­tion] to move for­ward and get some com­pen­sa­tion.”

SACA boss Tony Ir­ish said dis­cus­sions lie ahead.

“There’s a le­gal po­si­tion which we will be on top of, and we’re con­fi­dent some com­pen­sa­tion will be paid, but it will be sub­stan­tial amounts [we’re seek­ing], so it’s prob­a­bly not go­ing to hap­pen overnight.

“We’re still not sure what this post­pone­ment means: Will con­tracts be car­ried over? Will there be an event next year? What will be the scale?”

The SACA has called for an “in­de­pen­dent re­view” be­cause of the im­pact on play­ers who turned down other op­por­tu­ni­ties. The South African con­tin­gent are worst af­fected. Six weeks of their sum­mer was set aside for the event with nei­ther the na­tional team nor do­mes­tic fran­chises in ac­tion.

Picture / Ja­son Oxenham

Mitchell Mc­Cle­naghan

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