South Africa announce squad for Bangladesh Tests, IPL-bound players not picked

Batter Khaya Zondo on Thursday earned his maiden Test call-up in the 15-member South Africa squad for the two-match home Test series against Bangladesh.

Zondo, who has played six ODIs for South Africa, has been a consistent performer for Dolphins in South Africa’s domestic 4-day tournament. In the last two domestic seasons, he has scored 786 runs in 13 matches at an average of 52.40.

Wicketkeeper-batter Ryan Rickelton, who was one of the reserves for the series against India and New Zealand, has also found a place in the squad as is uncapped quick Daryn Dupavillon, who was also called up for South Africa’s tour to Pakistan in 2021.

However, South Africa will be without their entire first-choice pace attack — comprising Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Marco Jansen — as well as batters Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen as they decided to choose the IPL over the Test series. Notably, Cricket South Africa had earlier said that they would be leaving it up to the players to make the decision.

Meanwhile, pacer Anrich Nortje once again missed out on selection due to his long standing back and hip issue, which also means that there is no clarity about his availability in the IPL, where he is part of the Delhi Capitals side. Nortje last played in November 2021, at the T20 World Cup in the UAE.

The IPL-bound players will fly to India for the tournament, which begins on March 26, at the conclusion of the ODI series, an ESPNcricinfo report said.

According to CSA’s current MoU with the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA), the board cannot refuse players the opportunity to take part in the tournament, as both organisations look to balance the livelihoods and opportunities of players and their duties to the national team.

“The loss of the IPL players is not ideal, but we back the CSA system, its ever-growing pipeline and most of all, the players we have selected,” CSA convenor of selectors Victor Mpitsang said.

“Every member of the team is selected based on the excellence that they have shown over an extended period of time and there is no better opportunity for them than now, to show us what they have to offer the Proteas on this highly anticipated occasion,” he added.

The first Test starts on March 31 in Durban and the second on April 7 in Port Elizabeth.

Squad: Dean Elgar (capt), Temba Bavuma (vice-capt), Daryn Dupavillon, Sarel Erwee, Simon Harmer, Keshav Maharaj, Wiaan Mulder, Duanne Olivier, Keegan Petersen, Ryan Rickelton, Lutho Sipamla, Glenton Stuurman, Kyle Verreynne (wk), Lizaad Williams, Khaya Zondo

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