Klusener returns to the fold
Return of the Zulu: Lance Klusener is back after nine months out in the cold
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Immediately after their ten-wicket drubbing of West Indies at Centurion Park today, South Africa announced their 14-man squad for the first two one-day internationals. The biggest surprise was the recall of Lance Klusener, while the uncapped Albie Morkel was also included.
Klusener has not played international cricket since the 2003 World Cup, and his selection is a big turnaround. He threatened to sue the South African board last year, claiming they promised him a contract, only to then drop him. Graeme Smith, the captain, also suggested that Klusener was a bad influence on the team.
However, Klusener and the board have recently kissed and made up, and he is back in the squad. "We are delighted with the form he has shown with the ball for the Dolphins this season," said Omar Henry, the chairman of selectors. "We are looking to him to continue with that form for the national team."
Morkel, 22, from Easterns, is the only uncapped member of the squad, and he impressed with a century against West Indies earlier in the month. Henry said of him: "Albie is a highly talented bowling allrounder who has impressed for both Easterns and South Africa A over the last year, and this is an opportunity for him to take the next step up the ladder."
Ashwell Prince returns for the first time since last season, but Neil McKenzie, Alan Dawson and Charl Langeveldt - all of whom played in the series against Pakistan last October - have been left out. Andrew Hall was not considered due to the back injury he suffered in the Centurion Test. The first game in the five-match one-day series is at Newlands on January 25.
McKenzie had some consolation, as he was picked to lead the South Africa A team to play the West Indians in a limited-overs match at Boland Park on Friday (Jan 23). Nicky Boje, a regular member of the one-day side before he suffered a severe leg injury in England in July last year, will also play there, as will two injury-plagued former Test fast bowlers - Mfuneko Ngam and Roger Telemachus.
South Africa one-day squad
Graeme Smith (capt), Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Rudolph, Jacques Kallis, Boeta Dippenaar, Ashwell Prince, Morne van Wyk, Mark Boucher (wk), Shaun Pollock, Lance Klusener, Albie Morkel, Robin Peterson, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini.
South Africa A squad
Martin van Jaarsveld, Loots Bosman, Hashim Amla, Neil McKenzie (capt), Justin Ontong, Justin Kemp, Nicky Boje, Thami Tsolekile (wk), Garnett Kruger, Mfuneko Ngam, Roger Telemachus.