Proteas cover all options

CRICKET South Africa yesterday named four uncapped players in the squad of 15 for the first Castle Test against England at SuperSport Park starting on December 16.

CRICKET South Africa yesterday named four uncapped players in the squad of 15 for the first Castle Test against England at SuperSport Park starting on December 16.

Opening batsman Imraan Khan and all-rounder Albie Morkel have dropped out of the Proteas' starting line-up from the last Test match against Australia at Sahara Park Newlands in March, allowing for the return of Graeme Smith from injury and the recall of Morne Morkel.

Wayne Parnell, who was in the group of 12 for the Australia Test, retains his place in the squad and the other newcomers to the five-day game are Highveld Lions batsman Alviro Petersen, Diamond Eagles all-rounder Ryan McLaren and Highveld Lions fast bowler Friedel de Wet.

"We have chosen an enlarged squad to cover all our options," said selection convener Mike Procter.

"Jacques Kallis is obviously a very big number in our Test side and providing cover for him requires more than one player.

"Alviro Petersen deserves his call-up both for the impressive way he has returned to international cricket and the weight of runs he has made in domestic cricket. He is able to cover all of the top six batting positions.

"Ryan McLaren provides us with an all-rounder if we want to go down that route and we want both Wayne Parnell and Friedel de Wet in the national set-up."

The SuperSport Park match will be Makhaya Ntini's 100th Test for the Proteas, who will gather on December 11 for a camp at Potchefstroom's Senwes Park. - Sapa

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