No Smith for World T20 Cup

2012-08-09 12:42

Test captain Graeme Smith was the noticeable omission from the Proteas’ T20 side for World Cup to be held in Sri Lanka next month.

There were no other surprises as excelling domestic performers like Justin Ontong and Farhaan Behardien were rewarded with selection.

This will be the first ICC tournament Smith will not take part in since he made his debut in 2002.

National selection convenor Andrew Hudson said the number of South African players who have been opening in various domestic T20 leagues around the world forced the decision.

“It has been tough for Graeme in a sense that Jacques Kallis has been opening in T20 cricket,” Hudson said.

“We also have Richard Levi, Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis. Faf has been opening and doing very well in the IPL and been doing extremely well in subcontinental conditions. It is not over for Graeme, but I think he is up against some very good cricketers.”

Another selection that raised eyebrows was that of offspinner Johan Botha, who now plays and captains Australian first-class outfit the South Australian Redbacks. Hudson said Botha’s services were required for the tournament as he is an excellent T20 player.

“We understand that he will have commitments in Australia later on in the year, but he is available for us and we are delighted to have him,” Hudson added.

With only the England T20 series to serve as preparation for the September showpiece, Hudson said the team will be mentally and physically prepared and all of them will be in action.

“The conditions in England are not the same as the subcontinent conditions, but this same 15-man squad will represent South Africa in that series. The team will be together and there won’t be any players resting and it needs to start combining well ahead of the tournament.”

Squad: AB de Villiers (Titans, captain), Hashim Amla (Dolphins), Farhaan Behardien (Titans), Johan Botha (Warriors), JP Duminy (Cape Cobras), Faf du Plessis (Titans), Jacques Kallis (Cape Cobras), Richard Levi (Cape Cobras), Albie Morkel (Titans), Morne Morkel (Titans), Justin Ontong (Cape Cobras), Wayne Parnell (Warriors), Robin Peterson (Cape Cobras), Dale Steyn (Cape Cobras), Lonwabo Tsotsobe (Dolphins)

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