South Africa news February 21, 2009

Lonwabo Tsotsobe handed central contract

Cricinfo staff

Lonwabo Tsotsobe is among the 16 contracted players for the forthcoming year © Getty Images

Lonwabo Tsotsobe, the South African left-arm seam bowler, has been awarded a central contract by Cricket South Africa (CSA). The board today announced its list of 16 contracted players and the notable absentees are fast bowlers Andre Nel and Monde Zondeki and allrounder Robin Peterson.

Tsotsobe had an impressive ODI debut during the tour of Australia last month, taking 4 for 50 in the fifth ODI in Perth.

"He is a very committed young man and has fitted into the South African set-up very well indeed," CSA chief executive Gerald Majola said. "He certainly proved his mettle in the final ODI against Australia, when he took 4 for 50 on debut in Perth, and bowled exceptionally well during the last Powerplay which helped South Africa win the match and the series 4-1.

"Lonwabo's fast left-arm swing bowling also brings a new dimension to the attack, and he will certainly be a contender for both Tests and ODIs".

Majola added that the board had decided to retain the existing six-team franchise system in domestic cricket after its Franchise Review Committee withdrew its report which contained a recommendation that extra franchises be awarded to Border and Griqualand West.

"The committee members felt that the cricketing and financial landscape had changed significantly both here and abroad since its review, and consequently they withdrew their report," Majola said. "The CSA board agreed to the withdrawal of the report, and the franchise status quo will remain for now."

Contracted players: (from May 2009 to April 2010) Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, Johan Botha, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Paul Harris, Jacques Kallis, Neil McKenzie, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Ashwell Prince, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.