Dale Steyn will return to international cricket after nearly a year absent recovering from a recurring shoulder injury as he is recalled to the T20I squad to face England.
The squad will be captained by newly appointed ODI skipper Quinton de Kock and includes Knights batsman, Pite van Biljon and Warriors seamer, Sisanda Magala who are uncapped at international level.
Steyn returns, Rabada rested
Steyn has retired from the longer formats of the game but is expected to remain available to the Proteas in T20Is until after the 2020 World Cup.
Magala’s selection is conditional upon the passing of a fitness test that he will have to take ahead of the first match in East London next week. The seamer had been named in the ODI group but failed a pre-series fitness test.
Van Biljon impressed selectors with stand-out performances over the last 24 months in the T20 Domestic League, the Africa T20 Cup and Mzansi Super League. The 33-year-old averaged 48.00 in his seven innings of the 2019 instalment of the latter League, finishing fifth in the tournament’s Highest Averages list and sported a strike rate of 139.13.
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA – NOVEMBER 17: Dale Steyn breaks the stumps during the Mzansi Super League match between Durban Heat and Cape Town Blitz at Hollywoodbets Kingsmead on November 17, 2019 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images)
Selectors have opted to extend the rest period of Test skipper Faf du Plessis and pace stalwart Kagiso Rabada, who will take no further part in the remainder of England’s tour to South Africa.
“We are pleased with the group that we have selected for this upcoming T20 series against England,” Acting Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith said.
“We have once again taken the opportunity to reward some of the hard workers of our domestic franchise system while some of our key senior players continue with their much-needed rest period and we have again, put our faith in Quinton (de Kock) to lead this group of exciting cricketers, picking up where he left off in India where he showed exemplary leadership.
“England have of course announced a competitive team and we are comfortable that we have the squad that can take them on and return positive results.
“With a T20 World Cup not too far away, we have begun the process of identifying several players whom we will be looking at over a period of time and hope that by the time September comes along, we will have the best possible squad of 15 representing South Africa.”
Independent Selector, Linda Zondi commented: “The squad we have selected is a good indicator of the talent that we boast in our country. CSA believes in rewarding hard work and consistently good performances that have been put in by players over a period of time.
“This is why we are thrilled to include Sisanda Magala and Pite van Biljon to the T20 squad as we go about our search for that T20 World Cup 15. Both have been outstanding for their respective franchise teams in the past and we are keen to see how they do against an imposing English side.
“We are also pleased to give extended opportunities to players who have performed well within the national team as our show of commitment to them.”
Proteas T20 squad
Quinton de Kock (captain, wicketkeeper, Momentum Multiply Titans), Reeza Hendricks (Imperial Lions), Temba Bavuma (Imperial Lions), Rassie van der Dussen (Imperial Lions), David Miller (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Pite van Biljon (VKB Knights), Dwaine Pretorius (Imperial Lions), Andile Phehlukwayo (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Jon-Jon Smuts (Warriors), Beuran Hendricks (Imperial Lions), Tabraiz Shamsi (Momentum Multiply Titans), Lungi Ngidi (Momentum Multiply Titans), Sisanda Magala (Warriors), Bjorn Fortuin (Imperial Lions), Dale Steyn (Momentum Multiply Titans), Heinrich Klaasen (Momentum Multiply Titans).
T20 Series Itinerary
12 Wed DN 1st T20I Buffalo Park, East London
14 Fri DN 2nd T20I Kingsmead, Durban
16 Sun Day 3rd T20I SuperSport Park, Centurion