George Linde surprise omission from Proteas T20 World Cup squad
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JOHANNESBURG – George Linde was a shock omission from the Proteas T20 squad named for the World Cup that takes place at the end of October.
Linde has played 14 T20 Internationals, and had seemingly established himself in the side, making valuable contributions against England – in his debut series – and in the West Indies, where South Africa won.
However, there was no place for him in the group of 15 picked for that tournament, although he was included among three reserves.
Instead Keshav Maharaj, who has yet to play a T20 International and Bjorn Fortuin – who has played eight matches in the same period that Linde has been in the side – will provide extra spin options alongside Tabraiz Shamsi.
The side will be captained by Temba Bavuma, who said Thursday that recovery from his fractured thumb – on which he was operated last weekend – will take four weeks.
“We felt that Bjorn had the upper-hand as an all-rounder,” national selection convenor, Victor Mpitsang said on Thursday. “Bjorn also gives us an option as a spinner up front.”
Maharaj, will make his T20 debut on Friday, in the first match of a three-game series against Sri Lanka, and will continue to captain the side.
“Kesh is an excellent leader. He has the backing of the team and us as a Panel,” said Mpitsang “He has more than proven his leadership skills in the Dolphins set up and reinforced our good decision during the ODI series against Sri Lanka which ended on Tuesday.
“His exemplary captaincy is what we believe is in the best interests of the team’s stability during this last international series that the team gets to play ahead of the World Cup.”
“We are confident that we have a well-balanced and well thought out World Cup squad, with reserve players that are more than capable and up to the job if called up for it. The team has blossomed well under the leadership of Temba Bavuma and we look forward to seeing his return to the international stage once he is fully recovered from injury,” Mpitsang added.
Lungi Ngidi has been removed from the squad for the Sri Lanka series and will travel straight to the UAE instead, where he will join up with his Indian Premier League franchise, the Chennai Super Kings.
South Africa opens its World Cup campaign against Australia in Abu Dhabi on October 23.
SA Squad for T20 World Cup:
Temba Bavuma (capt), Quinton de Kock, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen,, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen.
Reserves: George Linde, Andile Phehlukwayo, Lizaad Williams