Raisibe Ntozakhe has been suspended for an illegal action. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG - Cricket South Africa remain hopeful that young off-spinner Raisibe Ntozakhe will be part of the South African women’s squad at the World T20 tournament next month, even if that means she leaves a little bit later than her teammates.

Ntozakhe, 21, was suspended by the sport’s governing body, the International Cricket Council on Tuesday, just hours after she was included in the 15-player squad for the event, which will be held in the West Indies, because her bowling action was deemed illegal.

Ntozakhe, an off-spinner, is undergoing remedial work at CSA’s Centre of Excellence under the watchful eye of high performance manager, Vincent Barnes. CSA are hoping to have Ntozakhe tested again before the end of the month, and if that is a success, she can join her teammates in the Caribbean.

Ntozakhe’s action was reported after the first ODI between South Africa and the West Indies on September 16 and she then underwent an independent assessment at the University of Pretoria 12 days later. “The assessment revealed that all of her deliveries exceeded the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the regulations,” the ICC said in a statement on Tuesday.

Wednesday, CSA eventually responded to the suspension, with the federation’s CEO, Thabang Moroe saying the timing was “inopportune.” Had CSA withdrawn Ntozakhe Tuesday, and her tests later this month cleared her action, she would not have been allowed back into the squad, hence the decision to include her, despite the ICC’s suspension. Ntozakhe was present at a squad photoshoot yesterday.

While CSA said the selection panel would discuss a possible replacement, Independent Media understands that the first prize for CSA and the selectors would be to have Ntozakhe reassessed and her action cleared.

The Women’s World T20 tournament starts on November 9. Dane van Niekerk’s team will play its opening match on November 13. The team will head for the Caribbean on October 23, where it will have a training camp and play a few warm-up matches.

Proteas team: Dané van Niekerk (capt), Chloe Tryon, Lizelle Lee, Suné Luus, Shabnim Ismail, Masabata Klaas, Mignon du Preez, Marizanne Kapp, Laura Wolvaardt, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Zintle Mali, Robyn Searle, Tumi Sekhukhune, Saarah Smith, Trisha Chetty

The Star

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