Board executive confirms quota ahead of India tour October 26, 2004

South Africa squad to include five non-white players

Wisden Cricinfo staff

South Africa have confirmed that their 14-man squad to tour India in November will include five non-white players, after a government official said Gerald Majola, the board's chief executive, had promised the quota last week.

"Majola said there will be five black players in the squad," Butana Komphela, chairman of the South Africa government's portfolio committee on sport, told the Reuters news agency. "He said the United Cricket Board's succession plan was beginning to yield results, and they would demonstrate this by including five black players in the tour party."

It is widely believed that the squad will include the first cricketer of Asian origin to represent South Africa. Durban-born Hashim Amla, 21, has struck four centuries for KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa A so far this season.

And as Nicky Boje is unlikely to be available for the series, a non-white spinner in slow left-armer Robin Peterson, 25, who made his Test debut in 2003 against Bangladesh, is likely to be included

It is expected that Boje and opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs will pull out of the tour over fears they face arrest in India over alleged links to match-fixing and corruption last time South Africa travelled to India, in 2000. Gibbs's father, Herman, has said his son will not tour India.

The fast bowlers Makhaya Ntini, 27, and Charl Langeveldt, 29, could spearhead South Africa's bowling attack, alongside Shaun Pollock, while Garnett Kruger is likely to be the reserve fast bowler. Kruger led South Africa A to a series win over New Zealand A in September.

The 24-year-old non-white batsman Justin Ontong could also be included in the squad, which is to be announced on Wednesday.

The first of South Africa's two Tests in India starts at Kanpur on November 20.