Is this the end of Srinath's career b'coz at that time India will have NZ series or does he doesn't want to play on Indian Pitches?
Gauteng sign up Srinath the striker
May 10 2003 at 01:12AM
By Jermaine Craig
The Gauteng Cricket Board surprisingly announced on Friday that it had signed Indian fast bowler Javagal Srinath and brought all-rounder Derek Crookes back to the province.
The 33-year-old Srinath, a vastly experienced veteran of four World Cups, this week agreed to play for the Highveld Strikers in the upcoming season and arrives in Johannesburg in September.
The signing of the "Karnataka Express" is a coup for the embattled Strikers and will considerably bolster the province's bowling attack, adding considerable support to the likes of David Terbrugge, Garnett Kruger, Johnson Mafa and Enoch Nkwe.
One needs only to look at Srinath's career statistics to realise the calibre of player Gauteng have managed to entice to Corlett Drive.
'It sends out a message that Gauteng are serious about what they want to achieve '
He made his debut against Australia in 1991 and has played in 67 Tests, taking 236 wickets at an average of 30,49. His Test best bowling figures are 8/86 and he is also a useful batsman, with a top score of 76 in Tests.
Srinath may be reaching the tail end of an illustrious career, but he is bound to still be a handful for provincial batsman around the country.
Over the years, he has been a considerable thorn in the side of South Africa's international cricketers, playing 13 of his 67 Tests against them and taking an impressive 64 wickets at average of 24,48, with four five-wicket hauls against South Africa.
One of Srinath's most memorable Tests was against South Africa at Ahmedabad in 1996, his 6/21 helping to skittle South Africa for 105 in their second innings and winning the match for India.
Sachin Tendulkar described Srinath's bowling in that innings as "one of the greatest exhibitions of fast bowling I have seen from an Indian for a long time".
Srinath is also an accomplished one-day bowler, taking 315 wickets in 229 matches. He is still regarded as the fastest bowler India has produced.
He has battled in recent years with shoulder injuries and is no longer capable of whizzing deliveries in at close to 150 km/h, but as he showed at the recent World Cup he is still naggingly accurate, bowling an immaculate line and length which still snares its fair share of wickets.
Strikers coach, Shukri Conrad, who sealed the deal with Srinath, described him as simply "world-class".
"It sends out a message that Gauteng are serious about what they want to achieve this season. Aside from contributing on the field, Javagal will also act as bowling coach, for want of a better word," he said.
Under a different management structure, the 33-year-old Crookes left Gauteng kicking and screaming for Easterns three years ago, but he will add an enormous amount of experience and knowledge to the Strikers, who have also signed HD Ackerman from Western Province and Umar Abrahams from Eastern Province.