It’s a bit ironic that the Proteas and Bangladesh start their two-match T20 series on the back of three of the visitors’ players being disciplined for visiting a casino in East London last weekend.
Indeed, South Africa skipper JP Duminy believes this evening’s opening game in Bloemfontein could amount to a lottery much like hoping to hit the jackpot at the slots.
“There are two ways to look at the Bangladeshis’ state of mind going into this series,” the 33-year-old left-hander said yesterday.
“It can be a dangerous thing in the sense that they have nothing to lose. On the other hand, they might already have one foot on the plane home. That will only be determined in this game. We, however, can’t be focusing on that. We have our own objectives to achieve.”
Following successive whitewashes in the Test and ODI series, the Tigers have been dogged even further by an internal investigation over three players – Nasir Hossain, Taskin Ahmed and Shafiul Islam – missing team curfew after Sunday’s 200-run ODI loss at Buffalo Park.
According to Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan, the players arrived at the team hotel at 10.34pm when they should’ve been back at 10.
It is not known whether the trio had gambled, which is against Islamic religion.
Duminy was diplomatic on the issue of allowing players personal freedom.
“We are here to win a game of cricket. What the opposition get up to is their prerogative,” he said.
“Unfortunately, they’re in a situation where they do find themselves in a bit of hot water. There’s nothing we can say about it that will make it better or worse. In international cricket, these things do creep up now and then, especially if you don’t play well.”
Despite missing Faf du Plessis with a back injury, South Africa do have the luxury of quite an experienced group for the series.
Even one of the few rookies, 33-year-old Robbie Frylinck, isn’t actually all that wet behind the ears.
“It’s a great opportunity for him. He comes in with a lot of experience at his franchise. It’s just about executing his skills,” said Duminy.