Proteas recall Abbott

2014-02-25 00:00

DOLPHINS right-arm fast medium bowler Kyle Abbott’s efforts have finally been noticed by the selectors with his recall to the squad for the all important third and final Test against the Australians, starting at Newlands on Saturday.

When the Proteas Test squad was announced ahead of the three-Test series against Michael Clarke and his men, many loyal Dolphins followers wondered what more their man had to deliver to get the nod.

At all levels and in all formats this season, Abbott has delivered, leading the Dolphins attack and playing a massive role in bringing the Ram Slam T20 trophy to Durban for the first time.

To date, in this season’s four-day series, Abbott again tops the standings with 22 wickets in just five matches, at an average of 13,09 and a best of 7-65.

Last season, he was the leading wicket-taker in the competition as he bagged 49 victims at just over 15, good enough to be one of the SA Cricketers of the Year in the latest South African Cricket Annual.

A humble man, Abbott is happy to be part of the squad, whether he gets to play or not. “I understand how the system works and have had numerous chats with Andrew Hudson, the convenor of selectors,” he said. “I am excited and it’s an honour to be part of the mix again.

“As long as I keep giving my best for the Dolphins, putting my name on the table and making sport headlines for the right reasons, then it’s all in the hands of the selectors.”

Abbott flies to Cape Town today to join up with the squad and knows this is another step in the right direction as far as him playing Test cricket is concerned.

“Being part of the squad is step number one. To be involved ahead of a series-deciding Test against the Australians in South Africa is awesome. Whether I play or watch from the players’ area … I’m part of the action,” he said.

A fellow Kearsney College Old Boy, Hudson said it was more than special to call on a player who had come through the same ranks. “We have reached a crucial part of the series and with a groin injury to Wayne Parnell [who is unlikely to be risked in the Test], we need options and players to support those options,” he said.

“Kyle has been in fantastic form at domestic level and I have enjoyed watching his progress, particularly in the last two seasons. He is thriving under Dolphins coach Lance Klusener and is on the up, learning from every game.”

Hudson added that although Abbott was in the squad, it did not mean he would definitely play. “It’s fantastic to have a player of his pedigree and ability to call upon, but we need to look at all our options before deciding on the best possible starting eleven,” he said. “Do we go with seven batsmen and a spinner? We need to look at the wicket and conditions at the start and decide what style of cricket we want to play. At this stage, no one in the squad can be ruled out and every player has a chance to play.”

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