SA side ready for tourney

Meshack Khotha

Meshack Khotha

The national cricket squad is geared up for the 2007 Four Nations Emerging Players Tournament billed for Australia, starting from July 16 to 27.

South Africa coach Kepler Wessels said yesterday they had been working hard since they assembled for a pre-tour camp at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria on Sunday.

On Monday, the emerging stars beat the National Academy side by seven wickets in a one-day warm-up match.

Said Wessels: "My boys have been showing a lot of commitment in training.

"The squad is injury-free and in good health. Everybody is looking forward to representing the team with dignity against stiff opposition."

The two-week tournament will have the countries play three Twenty20 matches and seven one-day internationals in a round-robin format.

Some of the the teams that will feature include Australia, India and New Zealand.

Though SA are the defending champions, Wessels said they had selected young players this time to give them exposure.

"We want to work on the individual players in order for them to make a claim for a selection spot in the Proteas squad in future," Wessels said.

The team left for Australia yesterday evening.

The squad: Johan Botha (captain), Thami Tsolekile (vice-captain), Yusuf Abdullah, Gulam Bodi, Friedel de Wet, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Heino Khun, Mornè Morkel, Alviro Petersen, Vernon Philander, Thandi Tshabalala, Justin Ontong, Lennox Tsotsobe, Wessels (coach), Shafiek Abrahams (assistant coach), Ian Repton (physiotherapist).