South Africa news March 6, 2014

Elgar gets CSA contract in Smith's place

19

Dean Elgar has been awarded a national contract, in place of the retired Test captain Graeme Smith. The list remains at 17 players, with seven signed on for two years and the remaining 10 on one-year deals. CSA also announced 12 players who received high performance contract, which includes Kyle Abbott, who played in the Newlands Test, and Under-19 World Cup winner Kagiso Rabada.  

Elgar lost his contract when the most recent list was announced two days before the second Test against Australia in Port Elizabeth. On the same day, Elgar was informed he was going to play in that match, because South Africa were returning to a seven specialist batsmen strategy.

Illness to regular opener Alviro Petersen the night before the game meant Elgar would also bat in his preferred position at the top of the order rather than at No. 6. He survived Mitchell Johnson and scored a gutsy 83, helping South Afrcia set up a match-winning first-innings total. With his part-time left-arm spin, Elgar also took the wicket that gave South Africa victory when he trapped Nathan Lyon lbw and it was given out despite the edge. 

His performance in that match meant Elgar could not be dropped for the deciding Test at Newlands even though Petersen had recovered from his upset stomach. To accommodate both Petersen and Elgar, South Africa shuffled their batting order and allowed Elgar to bat at No. 3 and Hashim Amla at No. 4. 

Given South Africa's showing, it is too early to say whether it was a good tactical decision and it may not even be necessary to do so. With Smith's retirement, Elgar has been tipped to move back into the opening berth, where he will partner Petersen, thus replacing Smith in more ways than one. 

"Dean is the obvious replacement and must be excited by the opportunity to emulate the greatness achieved by his recently retired national captain," Haroon Lorgat, CSA CEO said. "He has all the attributes and qualifies as the next player eligible to be awarded a contract." 

In addition to identifying Elgar as part of the succession plans, CSA has also earmarked a dozen franchise players. Among them are three spinners, Simon Harmer, Eddie Leie and Aaron Phangiso and four other top-order batsmen. Rilee Rossouw, Reeza Hendricks, Temba Bavuma and Stiaan van Zyl have all been suggested as replacements for the likes of Smith and Jacques Kallis in the long term and this is a nod to that theory. 

"This is investment in our future," Andrew Hudson, CSA's convener of selectors said. "Close monitoring of these exciting young players so that we can provide the best chance of developing their careers to the full potential."

Players on two-year contracts: AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn

Players on one-year contracts: Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Imran Tahir, Lonwabo Tsotsobe

High Performance contracts: Kyle Abbott, Temba Bavuma, Simon Harmer, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Eddie Leie, Mangaliso Mosehle, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Stiaan van Zyl, Khaya Zondo

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • MarkAnthony99 on March 8, 2014, 8:18 GMT

    overrated! crap technique

  • Cpt.Meanster on March 7, 2014, 6:15 GMT

    Dean Elgar reminds me a lot of Andrew Hudson, the former SA opener during the 90s. Albeit, Hudson was a right hander. Elgar's style of play is exactly like Hudson's in the way he strikes the ball with crisp, free flowing drives and a good back foot technique. SA need to stick with him for overseas tours as well, especially in Asia to see if his technique against spin is good enough. SA don't have much choice really. Their other opener is Alviro Petersen who is an average player at best. Elgar is the best option right now and should be persisted with.

  • Robster1 on March 7, 2014, 2:14 GMT

    Injury aside, am surprised Chris Morris not part of the HPR squad. But Mosehle, - can someone please explain....

  • SHER-A-PANJAB on March 7, 2014, 1:12 GMT

    Wah ... it is a great news ...carry on Elgaar ! We know you are a talented player .prove it under new leadership ....good luck !God help you ,bless you !

  • on March 6, 2014, 17:20 GMT

    @creebo777 I agree with you, I see Elgar and Van Zyl as the future opening pair for the Proteas

  • Vaughanographic on March 6, 2014, 15:17 GMT

    Mosehle???? What on EARTH has he done to deserve a contract? Zondo?? Oh wait.. .there appears to be a common denominator here.....

    Abbott, Rossouw, Van Zyl, Harmer, Hendricks x2, Bavuma are good picks to take us forward.

    Pity no investment in Hardus Viljoen (But I do understand why not) - genuine pace is a decent commodity to have

  • TommytuckerSaffa on March 6, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    OUT: Morkel, Petersen IN: Rillee Roussouw, B.Hendricks.

    I am totally over Morne Morkel, couldn't care less if he bowls fast, still too inconsistent and he is 30 yrs old now - how much longer do we have to wait for him to put the ball in the right place.?? Alviro is too old and his average is sub-par - another inconsistent performer in this team.

  • Binisa Mohanty on March 6, 2014, 13:03 GMT

    Aiden Markram deserves to get a contract and handover a test cap to him so that we can mould younger players like him and Rabada, Corbi Bosch. Scrap the contract from Tahir, Alviro and Kleinveldt. There are far more better players than them in the domestic circuit.

  • creebo777 on March 6, 2014, 12:53 GMT

    If you gona replace morne morkel,marchant de lange should be his replacement,stiaan van zyl among the runs again for cape cobras

  • wanatawu on March 6, 2014, 12:09 GMT

    What about Yaseen Valli, Markram, Fortuin Bosch for High Performance contracts. Why Mangaliso???

  • MarkAnthony99 on March 8, 2014, 8:18 GMT

    overrated! crap technique

  • Cpt.Meanster on March 7, 2014, 6:15 GMT

    Dean Elgar reminds me a lot of Andrew Hudson, the former SA opener during the 90s. Albeit, Hudson was a right hander. Elgar's style of play is exactly like Hudson's in the way he strikes the ball with crisp, free flowing drives and a good back foot technique. SA need to stick with him for overseas tours as well, especially in Asia to see if his technique against spin is good enough. SA don't have much choice really. Their other opener is Alviro Petersen who is an average player at best. Elgar is the best option right now and should be persisted with.

  • Robster1 on March 7, 2014, 2:14 GMT

    Injury aside, am surprised Chris Morris not part of the HPR squad. But Mosehle, - can someone please explain....

  • SHER-A-PANJAB on March 7, 2014, 1:12 GMT

    Wah ... it is a great news ...carry on Elgaar ! We know you are a talented player .prove it under new leadership ....good luck !God help you ,bless you !

  • on March 6, 2014, 17:20 GMT

    @creebo777 I agree with you, I see Elgar and Van Zyl as the future opening pair for the Proteas

  • Vaughanographic on March 6, 2014, 15:17 GMT

    Mosehle???? What on EARTH has he done to deserve a contract? Zondo?? Oh wait.. .there appears to be a common denominator here.....

    Abbott, Rossouw, Van Zyl, Harmer, Hendricks x2, Bavuma are good picks to take us forward.

    Pity no investment in Hardus Viljoen (But I do understand why not) - genuine pace is a decent commodity to have

  • TommytuckerSaffa on March 6, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    OUT: Morkel, Petersen IN: Rillee Roussouw, B.Hendricks.

    I am totally over Morne Morkel, couldn't care less if he bowls fast, still too inconsistent and he is 30 yrs old now - how much longer do we have to wait for him to put the ball in the right place.?? Alviro is too old and his average is sub-par - another inconsistent performer in this team.

  • Binisa Mohanty on March 6, 2014, 13:03 GMT

    Aiden Markram deserves to get a contract and handover a test cap to him so that we can mould younger players like him and Rabada, Corbi Bosch. Scrap the contract from Tahir, Alviro and Kleinveldt. There are far more better players than them in the domestic circuit.

  • creebo777 on March 6, 2014, 12:53 GMT

    If you gona replace morne morkel,marchant de lange should be his replacement,stiaan van zyl among the runs again for cape cobras

  • wanatawu on March 6, 2014, 12:09 GMT

    What about Yaseen Valli, Markram, Fortuin Bosch for High Performance contracts. Why Mangaliso???

  • BellCurve on March 6, 2014, 11:59 GMT

    Finally, Thami Tsolekile has been axed. It was long overdue. Hats off to CSA for rewarding Hendricks, De Kock and Rabada. They are the future.

  • Protears on March 6, 2014, 11:54 GMT

    @Seether1 I concur, i would not discard Morkel but I will send him to Australia to play FC cricket work with some former Australian quicks who could perhaps help give him another dimension than just a same line and same length bowler.

    Hendricks and Parnel, are good left arm options, Hendricks a neat and tidy bowler with Parnel getting his volocity from 130's to 140's and his batting ability is a nice option to have. Abbott was brilliant and on another day and pitch would have gotten a few more wickets. De Lange is also on the radar.

  • Seether1 on March 6, 2014, 11:37 GMT

    Morne Morkel gets a 2 year contract? This is ridiculous. Its obvious that Morne is a nice guys that tries his heart out every time he plays for SA. Recently, he is also our fastest bowler. But he does not deserve a 2 year contract. Neither does JP for that matter but at least he has performed in the last 2 Tests again Australia. There is no way Morne is in the same category as AB, Hash, Steyn etc. Now is the perfect time to blood youngsters at Test level. Our 5 year unbeaten run has come to an end. Rather build for the future with the likes of Hendricks, Abbott etc.

  • creebo777 on March 6, 2014, 11:23 GMT

    Elgars opening partner should be stiaan van zyl but i wouldnt be disappointed if they go for either rillee russouw or reeza hendricks,de kock as keeper,philander as all rounder,

  • Thuram3 on March 6, 2014, 10:46 GMT

    Awesome! The guy has worked on his game quite well since Perth. He looks more solid and more convincing. Fantastic move in my opinion.

  • Protears on March 6, 2014, 10:24 GMT

    "Why isn't Tsotsobe on a two year contract? How much more must he do? I doubt there is an international cricketer who has scaled similar heights for his country yet continues to be this lowly regarded! There is no way JP&Faf are at his level, neither does he belong in the same category with Tahir&McLaren. "

    Is it just me that finds this funny. I think Kagiso Ribada deserves a contract more than Lenwabo and his 5 tests of misery.

  • on March 6, 2014, 10:21 GMT

    CSA have been found wanting. I don't mind if they give a guy a contract, but they need to then give him game time too. Rory Kleinveld has a contract but he hasn't had game time. Surely they should either play him or take away his contract and give it to Kyle Abbott since they obviously prefer him as the extra right-hand quick?

  • Lloydster on March 6, 2014, 9:57 GMT

    Now they CSA need to bring Q deKock into the squad as a perm replacement wickie to allow AB to concentrate on his batting and possibly the Captaincy. The Batting tail was shocking against the Aussies except for Big Vern.

  • ZCFOutkast on March 6, 2014, 9:22 GMT

    Morne Morkel on a two year contract! Is this a joke? If Alviro deserves just one year then surely that must apply to Morkel as well because their performances are comparable. Maybe this is one way of sidelining him from the captaincy race, when he is the best leader and tactician available.

    Why isn't Tsotsobe on a two year contract? How much more must he do? I doubt there is an international cricketer who has scaled similar heights for his country yet continues to be this lowly regarded! There is no way JP&Faf are at his level, neither does he belong in the same category with Tahir&McLaren.

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  • ZCFOutkast on March 6, 2014, 9:22 GMT

    Morne Morkel on a two year contract! Is this a joke? If Alviro deserves just one year then surely that must apply to Morkel as well because their performances are comparable. Maybe this is one way of sidelining him from the captaincy race, when he is the best leader and tactician available.

    Why isn't Tsotsobe on a two year contract? How much more must he do? I doubt there is an international cricketer who has scaled similar heights for his country yet continues to be this lowly regarded! There is no way JP&Faf are at his level, neither does he belong in the same category with Tahir&McLaren.

  • Lloydster on March 6, 2014, 9:57 GMT

    Now they CSA need to bring Q deKock into the squad as a perm replacement wickie to allow AB to concentrate on his batting and possibly the Captaincy. The Batting tail was shocking against the Aussies except for Big Vern.

  • on March 6, 2014, 10:21 GMT

    CSA have been found wanting. I don't mind if they give a guy a contract, but they need to then give him game time too. Rory Kleinveld has a contract but he hasn't had game time. Surely they should either play him or take away his contract and give it to Kyle Abbott since they obviously prefer him as the extra right-hand quick?

  • Protears on March 6, 2014, 10:24 GMT

    "Why isn't Tsotsobe on a two year contract? How much more must he do? I doubt there is an international cricketer who has scaled similar heights for his country yet continues to be this lowly regarded! There is no way JP&Faf are at his level, neither does he belong in the same category with Tahir&McLaren. "

    Is it just me that finds this funny. I think Kagiso Ribada deserves a contract more than Lenwabo and his 5 tests of misery.

  • Thuram3 on March 6, 2014, 10:46 GMT

    Awesome! The guy has worked on his game quite well since Perth. He looks more solid and more convincing. Fantastic move in my opinion.

  • creebo777 on March 6, 2014, 11:23 GMT

    Elgars opening partner should be stiaan van zyl but i wouldnt be disappointed if they go for either rillee russouw or reeza hendricks,de kock as keeper,philander as all rounder,

  • Seether1 on March 6, 2014, 11:37 GMT

    Morne Morkel gets a 2 year contract? This is ridiculous. Its obvious that Morne is a nice guys that tries his heart out every time he plays for SA. Recently, he is also our fastest bowler. But he does not deserve a 2 year contract. Neither does JP for that matter but at least he has performed in the last 2 Tests again Australia. There is no way Morne is in the same category as AB, Hash, Steyn etc. Now is the perfect time to blood youngsters at Test level. Our 5 year unbeaten run has come to an end. Rather build for the future with the likes of Hendricks, Abbott etc.

  • Protears on March 6, 2014, 11:54 GMT

    @Seether1 I concur, i would not discard Morkel but I will send him to Australia to play FC cricket work with some former Australian quicks who could perhaps help give him another dimension than just a same line and same length bowler.

    Hendricks and Parnel, are good left arm options, Hendricks a neat and tidy bowler with Parnel getting his volocity from 130's to 140's and his batting ability is a nice option to have. Abbott was brilliant and on another day and pitch would have gotten a few more wickets. De Lange is also on the radar.

  • BellCurve on March 6, 2014, 11:59 GMT

    Finally, Thami Tsolekile has been axed. It was long overdue. Hats off to CSA for rewarding Hendricks, De Kock and Rabada. They are the future.

  • wanatawu on March 6, 2014, 12:09 GMT

    What about Yaseen Valli, Markram, Fortuin Bosch for High Performance contracts. Why Mangaliso???