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Sunday, April 21, 2024

COMMENT: Why the Proteas Test team needs to think long and hard about the SA20

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The SA20 preliminary squads were announced this week, and it’s becoming apparent that Proteas Test coach Shukri Conrad might have a selection headache for the New Zealand Test series in January and February next year.

Since South Africa’s Test tour of New Zealand was announced last month, it has been a huge concern that yet another international series will take a back seat due to the SA20, as Cricket South Africa remain committed to making the T20 league a success.

The SA20 is the future of local cricket as it brings much-needed financial muscle to the game in the country, and CSA have to put all their eggs in one basket as a result.

Ever since the announcement of the New Zealand tour, it has been public knowledge that Kagiso Rabada, Temba Bavuma and all the regular Proteas players will miss out on the tour due to their contracts in the SA20.

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But the announcement of the SA20 teams’ preliminary squads earlier this week has really given a vivid picture of who Conrad will have access to, come January next year.

One of the concerns for the tour has been who Conrad will take on tour as his spin option, with Keshav Maharaj set to captain the Durban Super Giants in the SA20.

Kyle Simmonds’ name came up in conversation for the Test tour, as George Linde is also part of the SA20.

The Joburg Super Kings have, however, awarded Simmonds with a contract this year after he joined them as a replacement for Aaron Phangiso in year one of the competition.

Now the task for Conrad looks even more daunting as the talent pool is getting smaller.

It looks like Conrad might have to give Lions’ new recruit Tsepo Ndwandwa a proper look this season as he is the next in line, with all the other spinners contracted in the SA20 – that’s if Ndwandwa, who hails from Gqerberha and previously played for the Warriors, doesn’t get a contract in the SA20 auction, which is scheduled to take place on September 27.



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