Members of the Proteas Test squad not participating in the current Tri-Series in Zimbabwe will embark on a conditioning and skills-specific programme this week.

Fitness and conditioning coach Rob Walter is tasked with ensuring all the players involved are in shape for the England tour which starts with the first of three Tests on July 19 at the London Oval.

“Being both physically and technically prepared for the start of the UK tour and the entire season ahead is paramount,” Walter said on Monday.

“The international calendar is quite busy as it is, so it is vital to use these small conditioning windows to our advantage and hopefully that will stand us in good stead at the back end of the season.”

Proteas team manager Mohammed Moosajee said it was also necessary to maintain the current fitness of the players who had recently returned from the Indian Premier League (IPL) and other county cricket.

“Even though we have an important T20 Series on, we also felt the need to give the remaining Test players back home the necessary preparation and conditioning ahead of our departure to the UK,” Moosajee said.

“Most of the players will have recovered from their IPL and county stints and this gives us the platform to maintain and to equip them with the necessary physical and cricket specific conditioning ahead of the season.” – Sapa