Botha set to be released from SA contract for stint Down Under

Johannesburg: South Africa`s ODI and T20 skipper Johan Botha would be released from national contract after September`s World Twenty20 Championship, allowing him to take over as South Australia captain over the next couple of seasons but the off-spinner would remain committed to the Proteas in the long run.

"Johan has been an excellent servant of South African cricket for a lengthy period of time and we will never forget the manner in which he captained the Proteas to success in the absence of Graeme Smith in the away ODI series in Australia in 2009," Cricket South Africa`s acting chief executive Jacques Faul in a statement.

"He has fully committed himself to the Proteas for the next five months which includes the away series in Zimbabwe and England as well as the World Twenty20 and is, at the moment, our first choice spinner in the T20 format.

"However, he has had an offer to captain South Australia over the next two seasons and this will provide valuable opportunities in broadening his experience in a leadership role," he added. Faul said the stint with South Australia would have no bearing on Botha`s national career.

"I must stress that Johan remains fully committed to South African cricket in the long run and is by no means bringing down the curtain on his international career for the Proteas."

Botha thanked CSA for his contract release.

"I remain fully committed to the Proteas in the long term. But I would hate to look back on my career at the end and regret that I did not take this opportunity," he said. "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 captained South Africa in their rain-hit Twenty20 match against India here last night which the Proteas won by 11 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method.


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