Cricket South Africa have named four uncapped players in the preliminary squad for the 2011 World Cup and recalled batsman Jacques Rudolph and allrounder Johan van der Wath, who made themselves eligible for selection following the termination of their Kolpak deals with their respective counties. The list of 30 will be pruned to 15 for the final squad by mid-January
Batsman Jonathan Vandiar, allrounders Faf du Plessis and Dean Elgar and seamer Ethi Mbhalati are the four players yet to play for the national team. du Plessis, who plays for Titans in domestic cricket, was the highest run-scorer in the recently-concluded MTN40 series, with 567 runs at an average of 81. Elgar, representing the title-winners Knights, averaged 39.57 while Vandiar, who plays for Lions, averaged 53.75 at a strike-rate of 122.15. du Plessis' team-mate Mbhalati also impressed with nine wickets at 22.
Rudolph, 29, last played an ODI for South Africa in February 2006 and had signed with Yorkshire before opting to return home. van der Wath had played for Northamptonshire before which he played in the unauthorised Indian Cricket League. Also back in the reckoning is wicketkeeper-batsman Morne van Wyk, who played his previous ODI in 2007.
"We indicated at the start of the season that we would reward players who performed well in domestic cricket," CSA's selection convenor Andrew Hudson said. "There have been some highly impressive performances in the MTN40 and this has opened the door of opportunity for the likes of Faf du Plessis, Jonathan Vandiar, Ethy Mbhalati and Morne van Wyk among others."
Preliminary squad: Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Alviro Peterson, Loots Bosman, Jacques Rudolph, Morne van Wyk, Jonathan Vandiar, JP Duminy, David Miller, Colin Ingram, Albie Morkel, Robin Peterson, Mark Boucher, Thami Tsolekile, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Heino Kuhn, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Wayne Parnell, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Johan Botha, Ryan McLaren, Charl Langeveldt, Rusty Theron, Ethy Mbhalati, Roelef van der Merwe, Johan van der Wath