Johannesburg - Wayne Parnell’s return to the Proteas set up for the first time in four years, was among the most noteworthy choices by the national selectors, who named a 16-man squad for the three One-Day International series with the Netherlands on Wednesday.
Parnell, 32, last played an ODI at the Champions Trophy in 2017, and then signed a Kolpak contract in 2018 with Worcestershire. He is the first of the players who signed Kolpaks to be picked for the Proteas, since those contracts were made null and void by Brexit.
Khaya Zondo’s excellent early season form for the KwaZulu-Natal Dolphins, which included a maiden first class double century in the opening round of the Four-Day Series, has been rewarded with a first call up to the national side in three years.
Keshav Maharaj will captain the side, with Temba Bavuma among a host of players rested following the T20 World Cup. Only seven players from that squad, including two of the reserve members; Lizaad Williams and Andile Phehlukwayo, have been retained for the Dutch series.
The selectors have struck a balance between experience, some young talent - like Ryan Rickelton - form players including Zondo, Parnell and Janneman Malan, while giving some senior stars a much needed break.
“These selections are part of our strategy to give opportunities and reward the good work of players in our provincial system,” said national selection convenor Victor Mpitsang.
“We do not take this historic tour of the Netherlands to our shores lightly. We are keen to showcase the talent that South Africa has and to give opportunities to players who have been patient for a long time and are raring to go.”
The series is an important one for the Proteas who desperately need points to climb the ICC World Super League table, which will determine the automatic qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup.
The three-match series starts in Centurion on November 26.
SA squad for series vs Netherlands:
Keshav Maharaj (capt), Daryn Dupavillon, Zubayr Hamza, Reeza Hendricks, Sisanda Magala, Janneman Malan, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Wayne Parnell, Ryan Rickelton, Tabraiz Shamsi, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams , Khaya Zondo.
Nov 26 - 1st ODI, Centurion
Nov 28 - 2nd ODI, Centurion
Dec 1 - 3rd ODI, Wanderers