South Africa will attempt to persuade Craig Kieswetter to change allegiance yet again and ditch England. It threatens to bring to a head the tension between the countries over who plays where and for whom.
Their captain Graeme Smith said yesterday: "Yes, I would like to have him back. It's up to him but he is certainly someone we'd like back."
Kieswetter changed countries in 2007 when it was learnt he had a Scottish mother. He finished his schooling at Millfield and immediately after joined Somerset. He is extremely promising and although his qualification period is not up until next February he has been fast-tracked into this winter's England Performance Squad – presumably to try to pre-empt the sort of raid Smith has in mind.
England already have two players on their winter tour, Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott, who were born and learnt their cricket in South Africa. But several players who went to England as so-called Kolpak players have now returned to their homeland having honed their games in England. Two of them, Ryan McLaren, who has been with Kent for three years, and Charl Langeveldt, who has played for three counties, will play for the home side in the Twenty20 match tonight.
"We want to keep our players here," Smith said. "We want it to be the ultimate to play for South Africa, but we know the draw of the pound. Youngsters today are very impatient. They want to see rewards quickly."