SuperSport Series 2008-09 September 25, 2008

Contracted players available for first-class competition

Cricinfo staff

Morne Morkel and Andre Nel will play the first two matches of their respective franchises © Getty Images

Cricket South Africa's (CSA) contracted players will be available on a phased-in basis for the domestic SuperSport Series starting next week. Gerald Majola, the CSA chief executive, said the players will feature in different rounds of the first-class competition between the South African franchises, which concludes next April.

Majola said though the national side had a busy nine months ahead, the team management and franchise coaches had decided all contracted players would be made available to their franchises.

"This means that Neil McKenzie, Hashim Amla, Ashwell Prince, Paul Harris, JP Duminy, Monde Zondeki, Robin Peterson, Herschelle Gibbs, Johan Botha and Albie Morkel will all be available from the outset," Majola said.

"Although Hashim has played both formats, he has been included in this group because he has played very little one-day cricket in the past 12 months. Albie will probably play as a batsman only in the first match to complete his rehabilitation and as an allrounder in the remaining two." The other fast bowlers, Morne Morkel and Andre Nel, will play the first two matches of their respective franchises while Makhaya Ntini will appear for the second and third matches.

Majola said the multi-format players like Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn and Mark Boucher will play in the tournament's third round. "Graeme Smith's return is clearly dependent on the progress of his tennis elbow injury. It is unlikely that he will play representative cricket until the Castle Test series against Bangladesh next month."