World Twenty20 2009 May 4, 2009

CSA confident Botha will be cleared

Cricinfo staff

South Africa have included their vice-captain Johan Botha in their 15-man squad for the World Twenty20 beginning on June 5 in England and are confident he will be eligible to play after the offspinner was reported for a suspect action.

Botha was reported for a suspected illegal bowling action by match officials after the fourth ODI against Australia in Port Elizabeth in April. He will undergo a bio-mechanical assessment of his action, but is eligible to play international cricket at the discretion of Cricket South Africa (CSA) while the test results are pending.

"He hasn't been cleared yet but we are confident and positive that he will be," Gerald Majola, chief executive of CSA, told Cricinfo. "Of course, if he is not cleared, we will have to ask for a replacement."

Bruce Elliott, a professor with the University of Western Australia, had tested Botha last Thursday as per the revised ICC procedure. "We don't have the results yet, but we hope to have some numbers by the end of the week." Elliott told Cricinfo.

There were no new faces in the squad which comprised players who enjoyed success against Australia over the summer. Yusuf Abdulla, who made his Twenty 20 debut against Australia in Centurion, was rewarded for his outstanding performances in the domestic tournament and for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL with a call-up. Abdulla is currently the IPL's highest wicket-taker with 14 wickets in seven matches.

"Our cricket is entering an exciting period," Mike Procter, South Africa's chief selector said. "We are top of the ODI rankings but have never won a major trophy and this presents the opportunity to do so in a limited-overs format.

"The players are all in good form and it is particularly pleasing to have so many quality all-rounders at our disposal. As always there are a couple of unlucky players and that emphasises the excellent competition we have for places. Form in the Standard Bank Pro20 domestic competition was a key factor in our selection process and it was encouraging to note how high the standard of our domestic cricket is at the moment."

South Africa coach Mickey Arthur was "delighted" with the squad. "It is a team with plenty of options - great depth to the batting and plenty of bowling options. It is also an outstanding fielding unit."

Squad: Graeme Smith (capt), Johan Botha (vice-capt), Yusuf Abdulla, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Justin Ontong, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Roelof van der Merwe.