• Piedt to raise stakes for Test spot

    Cape Cobras spinner Dane Piedt has confirmed he will attend a winter camp for spinners in Pretoria ahead of South Africa’s tour of Bangladesh in July.

    Piedt only recently returned from a lengthy injury lay-off after a shoulder operation and has decided to attend the camp, led by former Proteas spinner Nicky Boje, to strengthen his case for national selection, reports Die Burger.

    The competition for a place in the side is strong among the spinners, with Piedt competing with Simon Harmer and Imran Tahir. Chances are all three could be included in the touring squad.

    Piedt made an impressive Test debut against Zimbabwe in 2014, where he claimed eight wickets in his only Test thus far. He will, however, face strong competition from Harmer who made his debut in January against the West Indies after Piedt was injured and took seven wickets in his first and only Test to date.

    Then there is Tahir, who had an impressive World Cup and continued that form into the IPL. Although those formats differ greatly from Test cricket, Tahir is more experienced than Piedt and Harmer and is usually a good candidate for tours to the sub-continent where he gets more assistance from the wickets.

    The tour to Bangladesh could serve as trials for the tour to India in October and Piedt will have to use the training camp in Pretoria to find his feet again.

    Piedt told Die Burger he knew where he stood with regards to his international future.

    ‘If it happens [gets picked] it happens, but if it doesn’t I will just have to try and break my way back into the side the hard way, which is the same way I did it when I first got selected,’ he said.

    Boj√© confirmed most of the country’s franchise spinners will attend the camp, though Harmer will miss out due to club commitments in Lancashire in England.

    Players from the SA u19 team as well as a few batsmen will also attend the camp. HD Ackerman will work with the batsmen.