After hinting at a possible Aiden Markram or Hashim Amla snub, Linda Zondi announced a Proteas XV without Reeza Hendricks on Thursday.
Comments from the convenor of selectors, Zondi, was released on Thursday morning suggesting the omission of either the veteran Hashim Amla or fellow batsman Aiden Markam from the World Cup squad.
After a lengthy and teasing squad reveal, gasps were heard on the live broadcast as both Markram’s and Amla’s names were revealed.
‘We are very happy with the squad we have been able to put together, and have every confidence in their ability to do our country proud at the World Cup,’ said Zondi.
‘The fact that we have managed to win our last five series in a row in this format against Zimbabwe, Australia, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka twice, underlines the quality of the team that Faf will lead into the contest.
‘The final selection is also the result of a very rigorous search we have conducted, leaving no stone unturned to make sure that we have made the best use of the options available to us.’
Zondi is banking on the side he selected and believes they can handle any obstacles throughout the one-and-a-half month tournament.
‘We feel that Faf’s team is well equipped to handle whatever conditions are presented to them, bearing in mind the weather extremes one can encounter in the British Isles.
‘We have also been highly encouraged by the form shown by those of our players who are currently in action in the Indian Premier League, and there is no doubt that there is a great sense of anticipation and determination among our players.
‘As is well-known, you need a good squad of 15 players to come out on top with the demanding fixtures list ahead of us, rather than just a first XI, and I have been particularly encouraged by the depth of talent that has revealed itself to us during the selection process.’
Zondi also showed no concerns about the fitness of Ngidi and Nortje despite their withdrawal from the IPL due to injuries.
‘I am also very happy to announce that two of our fast bowlers currently on the injured list, Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje, are well on the way to recovery, and we expect them to be ready for our pre-tournament camp next month,’ Zondi concluded.
CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe commented: ‘Congratulations to the national selection panel on the work they have done to put a squad together that I am sure will meet with approval from all quarters and will represent us well, and to the players on their well-deserved selection.’
CSA president Chris Nenzani commented: ‘On behalf of the CSA family, and indeed of the entire nation, I wish our Proteas everything of the best for the World Cup. I am sure you will all make us proud.’
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