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Cook and Phehlukwayo among new South Africa contracts

Andile Phehlukwayo is one of the newly contracted players AFP

CSA has added three players to their usual 18-member men's contract list, bringing the total number of new deals to five for the 2017-18 season. Stephen Cook, Keshav Maharaj, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo and Tabraiz Shamsi were all awarded deals with Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw, who both signed Kolpak agreements with Hampshire the only two players from the 2016-17 period not on the list.

In an important development, Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada were awarded multi-year contracts, although CSA did not specify the duration of their deals. In the past two-year contracts were the longest awarded but CSA is seeking to give players greater certainty in the aftermath of the Kolpak-exodus which has seen seven recent internationals sign deals.

When Abbott and Rossouw's exit was confirmed in January, CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat said his organisation was considering various ways of keeping players in the South African system and longer-term contracts were one option.

There were also no details on the type of contract awarded to AB de Villiers, who has opted out of Test cricket for most of 2017, or that of Dale Steyn, who will be out of action until at least June, as he recovers from a shoulder injury. Both players were on two-year deals last year.

The only other player nursing a injury on the list is Morne Morkel, who has not played for South Africa since June last year but has been included in the Test squad for the upcoming series in New Zealand and is expected to make a comeback.

CSA also award 14 women's contracts and have made one change to their previous list. Batsman Laura Wolvaardt, who is just 17 and became South Africa's youngest international centurion (male or female) when she scored 105 against Ireland in August 2016, was the only new inclusion while Dinesha Devnarain was left out. Sune Luus and Ayabonga Khaka were promoted to the top tier.