A club versus province row has broken out in South Canterbury cricket over the services of one of the region’s best players.
Indian-born Srinivas K S did not play in South Canterbury’s two-day Hawke Cup round-robin match against North Otago at Aorangi Oval over the weekend, after his Timaru club refused to release him to play.
Instead, the talented Timaru opening batsman played a one-day club game against Celtic, scoring 17 not out, in his team’s five-wicket win.
South Canterbury coach Richard Davidson was informed via email by Timaru club president Colin Cameron that Srinivas K S would not be available for the representative game, despite playing in the province’s three Hawke Cup warm-up matches.
Cameron said Srinivas K S had played the three representative fixtures because they were played on Sundays and did not interfere with his club commitments on a Saturday.
Because of the move, Timaru could lose the competition points they earned for beating Celtic, with South Canterbury Cricket president Andrew McRae suggesting the board would meet to discuss the matter this week.
“We want to be able to put the strongest possible [representative] team out there, and there are rules when it comes to club players when they are selected for a representative side,” McRae said.
“We received late notice that he was not available for the team, despite being in the picture for the previous three warm-up games.
“The board will look to meet some time at the completion of the [representative game against North Otago] to discuss the implications and a possible response.”
Davidson said he named Srinivas K S in his starting lineup for the North Otago game, believing a resolution could be found before the start of play.
He said he was disappointed by the situation, and felt it had been an unneeded distraction so close to an important fixture.
Cameron said Srinivas K S’s visa, which allows him to stay in New Zealand, was “tied up” with the club, but refused to reveal how much he is being paid to be the club’s “professional”.
“They [South Canterbury Cricket] are more than welcome to pick any of our players for the [representative] team, but not him.
“He is our club pro, he is contracted to us, his visa is with us, and he is committed to us.”
Cameron said Srinivas K S was keen to play for South Canterbury but was happy “to do what we want him to do”.
McRae said he was happy to meet with club officials to discuss a resolution.
“Timaru need to come to us with a proposal,” McRae said. “If it is a matter of [Srinivas K S] being paid, and him being seen as an employee, then I’m sure the association could look at reimbursement for his time with the [representative] side.”
Cameron said he was happy to meet with McRae to talk about the issue.