Last Updated: March 20, 2023, 21:36 IST
South Africa batting star David Miller will miss the IPL 2023 season opening fixture between Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings slated to be played on March 31 in Ahmedabad. Miller, who played a key role in GT becoming champions in their debut season last year, will instead be turning out for South Africa on that day in a rescheduled ODI match against the Netherlands.
Miller confirmed the news during a press interaction on Monday while revealed GT team management wasn’t happy with the development as he claimed it wasn’t in his control to skip the Netherlands ODI and prioritise IPL.
“They (GT) were really upset,” Miller told reporters. “It’s always a big thing playing in Ahmedabad, especially in an opening game against Chennai. I am a bit disappointed to be missing that, but to put on the green and gold has always been a huge privilege and honour. And we have got some work to do in those two games against the Netherlands, so I think having a strong team — the best squad we can pick — is definitely the way forward.”
“I will be missing one game, so, whether I’m somewhat disappointed or not, the process has taken place; we weren’t given an option in any way. Be that as it may, we’ve got our best squad on the park, and we’ve got a lot of work to do in those two games. So it will be nice to be able to focus on that,” he added.
It was expected that Miller will be given the South Africa T20I captaincy after Temba Bavuma stepped down. However, Aiden Markram was named instead.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t interested (in captaincy),” Miller said. “I’ve really enjoyed the journey I’ve had with the Proteas and the experience that I’ve got. The fact that I am not captain, I am most certainly not bitter or anything towards anyone. I want to put my best foot forward for the team and support Aiden in that role.”
Mille was full of praise for Markram who led Sunrisers Eastern Cape to title win at the inaugural SA20 and has also been named captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad for IPL 2023.
“He is an extremely great leader and he has got a lot of maturity and a calmness about him,” Miller said of Markram. “And that just moves throughout the change room. It’s a great option and with Rob (Walter) coming in as the new (white-ball) coach, they are going to form a great combination. I am there to support the guys in whatever they need from me.”
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