Breetzke breezes into Proteas Test squad

Matthew Breetzke has received his maiden Test call-up to tour with the Proteas in the West Indies. | BackpagePix

Matthew Breetzke has received his maiden Test call-up to tour with the Proteas in the West Indies. | BackpagePix

Published Jul 8, 2024


Zaahier Adams

Warriors captain Matthew Breetzke has received his maiden Test call-up for the Proteas Men's team tour to the West Indies, while his former domestic teammate Marco Jansen has been rested.

Breetzke was one of the standout batters in the Cricket SA 4-day series with 322 runs at an average of 46, including a top score of 188. Breetzke has also previously led South Africa ‘A’ in a four-day match against India A in December.

The Proteas red-ball coach has also recalled Lions top-order batter Ryan Rickelton after the left-hander was overlooked for the entire home international summer last season.

"We are looking forward to returning to Test cricket after a busy period of limited-overs cricket over the past few months,” Conrad said.

"This tour is extremely important for us as we aim to improve our standing in the ICC World Test Championship. We have therefore selected our strongest possible squad and look forward to strong performances in the Caribbean.

"We have one new face in the squad, Matthew Breetzke, who is selected on the back of an excellent past season.”

Conrad also explained the decision behind the omission of all-rounder Marco Jansen.

“The decision to rest Marco Jansen was taken to allow for a conditioning period aimed at ensuring optimal physical and mental well-being given the season-long workloads,” he said.

Seam bowler Dane Paterson and Dane Piedt were rewarded for their excellent returns on the recent tour of New Zealand, when Conrad was forced to take a significantly under-strength Test squad Down Under due to the majority of South Africa’s contracted players being involved in the Betway SA20 back home.

The duo along with top-order batter David Bedingham are the only survivors of the touring party to New Zealand. Captain Temba Bavuma is also back at the helm of the Test side after missing the series against the Black Caps.

The majority of the Proteas' Test squad are currently participating in the Major League Cricket in the US, while the remainder will participate in a red-ball camp scheduled for Durban next week.

The two-match Test series, which is part of the ICC World Test Championship, will be South Africa’s first in the Caribbean since June 2021, which saw them claim a 2-0 series win over the hosts.

Proteas Test squad against West Indies: Temba Bavuma (captain, Lions), David Bedingham Western Province), Matthew Breetzke (Warriors), Nandre Burger (Western Province), Gerald Coetzee (Titans), Tony de Zorzi (Western Province), Keshav Maharaj (Dolphins), Aiden Markram (Titans), Wiaan Mulder (Lions), Lungi Ngidi (Titans), Dane Paterson (Western Province), Dane Piedt (Knights), Kagiso Rabada (Lions), Tristan Stubbs (Warriors), Ryan Rickelton (Lions), Kyle Verreynne (Western Province)