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South Africa to ensure reserves in place

Firdose Moonda

May 28, 2012

Comments: 13 | Text size: A | A

Faf du Plessis works one square on the leg side, South Africa v Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI, Bloemfontein, January 17, 2012
Faf du Plessis could be one of the players to feature in the South Africa A squad © Getty Images

South Africa will ensure they have adequate reserves to call during their tour of England by basing their A squad in Ireland during part of the trip. It is a strategy that mirrors England's 2010-11 Ashes-winning tactics when their performance squad spent time in Brisbane and Perth, a visit which overlapped with the first two Tests of the series.

South Africa A will play two four-day matches, two fifty-over fixtures and four twenty-over games against the Ireland national side. Their stay in the country will run concurrently with the third Test against England at Lord's and the first four ODIs.

"This is something we are going to do on a more regular basis, where we can," Vincent Barnes, High Performance Coach, who is in charge of the A side told ESPNcricinfo. "It means if the guys are needed to play for the senior side, they will be right there, instead of having to come in from the cold. Some of the players who are part of the ODI squad but not the Test squad will be able to play in that series."

Players such as Faf du Plessis, Marchant de Lange and Justin Ontong, who are all considered close to the Test squad and part of the limited-overs plans, are likely to feature in the series. "It's all about what Gary [Kirsten] feels he may need and everything is being geared to make sure players are ready for international cricket," Barnes said.

"We will also look to do the same thing next year, when the national side tours Sri Lanka, we will send a shadow side. It's especially important to send an A side when the away tours take place during our off season."

South Africa A have a busy schedule in the next few months. They will play Sri Lanka A in two four-day matches in Durban starting on June 30, before travelling to Zimbabwe to play in a one-day tri-series, featuring Sri Lanka A and the hosts.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by cricket2011 on (May 30, 2012, 9:00 GMT)

This is a good news for cricket promotion to Ireland. If they get 2 four days match with any SA team, that is great news. South African team has lot of great talented players. TRY to get get more games with all top countries

Posted by yorkshirematt on (May 30, 2012, 0:46 GMT)

@allroundcricketfan All I want is an England team of yorkies

Posted by yorkshirematt on (May 30, 2012, 0:44 GMT)

@AllroundCricketfan No "even I" don't think that at all. First and foremost I am a Yorkshire fan and " Team England" second. I have no opinion either way.

Posted by   on (May 29, 2012, 22:10 GMT)

most of the county contracted players only have to be released for full ODI's, the counties can keep them for other games

Posted by   on (May 29, 2012, 19:06 GMT)

I'm just waiting to see Roussouw in Green and Gold..

Posted by TheReverseDoosra_K on (May 29, 2012, 16:51 GMT)

Playing against teams like these will make Ireland better and better. They should arrange more matches with top A teams. @Irelandcricketfan - contracted players like Porterfield,Stirling,Joyce can be released for national duty at any time.

Posted by   on (May 29, 2012, 14:54 GMT)

@Irelandcricketfan, I think the county players will all be released for this series...

Posted by virendra_s on (May 29, 2012, 14:51 GMT)

Good move SA.Looking forward to the series.

Posted by AllroundCricketFan on (May 29, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

You are correct @yorkshirematt. Even you have to admit being an England cricket and rugby fan is just not teh same. Half the cricket team is South African and if I was English, I would feel aggrieved, knowing my best 2 batsmen are not English. No matter what everyone else says. And the future isnt looking bright for England, what with at least another 5 South Africans knocking on the selectors doors with outstanding perfomances. Anways, as a neutral, this is a SA vs SA B side in my eyes.

Posted by Irelandcricketfan on (May 29, 2012, 8:43 GMT)

Excellent news. But will we (Ireland) have our county players released? We'd we'd struggle without Porterfield, Stirling, Joyce, Murtagh, Rankin (if fit), N O'Brien and others.

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