Monday, August 11, 2008

Gibbs could play for Titans

Cape Cobras, Deccan Chargers and Glamorgan may not have qualified for the Champions Twenty20 League, but Herschelle Gibbs might still feature.

Herschelle Gibbs, the South Africa and Cape Cobras batsman, could turn out for the Titans in the Champions Twenty20 League tournament. Gibbs plays for the Cape Town-based Cobras, but might be available for the Titans, the franchise in Pretoria, under a plan proposed by Norman Arendse, chief executive of Cricket South Africa (CSA).

Arendse said players from other franchises might be included in the franchises representing South Africa, Supersport reported, as quite a few regulars from South Africa's Test squad would miss the league due to conflicting schedules. The tournament was scheduled to be held between September 29 and October 8, but its proximity to the Champions Trophy in Pakistan had prompted the ICC to ask the founding boards - CSA, BCCI and Cricket Australia - to reconsider the dates.

It's likely the league will now take place in December, but that could result in South Africa's players missing out. South Africa are to tour Australia later this year, and their first game against Western Australia, begins on December 6.

By virtue of being the finalists in th Africa's domestic Pro20 competition, the Titans and Dolphins, from KwaZulu-Natal, have qualified for the Twenty20 league, joining Rajastan Royals and Chennai Super Kings from India, Western Australia and Victoria from Australia, Middlesex from England and the Sialkot Stallions from Pakistan. However, players such as AB de Villiers, Andre Nel, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Paul Harris from the Titans, and the Dolphins' Hashim Amla, may not be available for their franchises. Arendse indicated Gibbs, not part of South Africa's Test squad currently, could replace de Villiers.

Gibbs, who joined Glamorgan for the Twenty20 Cup, had a successful stint for the county, scoring 281 runs in six innings, with a highest of 98. However, they failed to make it past the quarter-finals. Gibbs, though, failed to impress in the Pro20 competition and Indian Premier League earlier in the year. He scored 103 runs in six matches for the Cape Cobras, and was one of the disappointments of the IPL, managing just 167 in nine matches for the bottom-finishers Deccan Chargers.