Nel recalled to South Africa's Test squad
Andre Nel has been recalled to South Africa's Test squad for their four-match series against England. The selectors have announced a 15-man squad, with Nel being the only addition to the group which went on the recent tour to India, from which he was controversially omitted.
"It is a long tour with two lots of back-to-back Test matches and we all know what the rate of attrition of fast bowlers can be," Joubert Strydom, the chairman of selectors, said while explaining Nel's inclusion. "In addition, we feel that we will need to give Dale Steyn a bit of a rest as he has been bowling regularly in the IPL (Indian Premier League).
"He [Steyn] is one of our key weapons and we want him to be at his best when the Test series gets underway," Strydom said. "The same applies to Makhaya Ntini while Morne Morkel is coming back from [a hamstring] injury."
Strydom also stressed on the importance of the bench strength for the tour. "With the tour taking place out of the South African season, we need to make sure that we have back-up strength that is match fit and in form in case of injury."
The recall will come as a boost to Nel, who was disappointed after being left out of the squad to India due to Cricket South Africa's transformation policy, which mandates six coloured players in touring parties. There were even reports that he was planning to quit the national team altogether.
The situation was further exacerbated when Charl Langeveldt, his replacement, dropped out of the squad due to the controversy surrounding his selection. The selectors then decided upon Monde Zondeki, who has since earned a contract with the board, while Langeveldt turned his back on South African cricket after signing a Kolpak deal with Derbyshire.
The squad will assemble for a training camp in mid-June before leaving for England on June 24.
Squad: Graeme Smith (capt), Ashwell Prince (vice-capt), Neil McKenzie, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Mark Boucher (wk), JP Duminy, Morne Morkel, Robin Peterson, Paul Harris, Dale Steyn, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini, Monde Zondeki.