JOHANNESBURG, The SA OneDay International (ODI) squad has a number of new faces as the threematch series against England starting in Cape Town on February 4.

Lutho Sipamla, Kyle Verreynne and Bjorn Fortuin who have lit up the local limited overs domestic leagues throughout the past season and impressed selectors enough to give them a chance against the reigning World Champions.

Their inclusion will serve as an opportunity to see the value they can bring as the team begins their journey towards the 2023 ICC World Cup, while also giving senior players such as Faf du Plessis and Kagiso Rabada much needed rest after a busy 12 months of cricket.

It’s an exciting group of youngsters that the selectors have picked and it’s a clear sign to everyone that if you put in the hard yards consistently enough, it will pay off eventually, said newlyappointed ODI captain Quinton de Kock.

We’re excited to take on a team like England who have had a really good season. It’s a good way of measuring ourselves against the current ODI world champions and the right kind of challenge for everyone from the new guys to the senior players. It’s going be a good, quick and tough series and I’m looking forward to it.

The team boasts a fully fit squad with the exception of Sisanda Magala.

While the seamer has shown impressive signs of improvement since his enrolment into a high performance training and conditioning camp which also included Tabraiz Shamsi, JonJon Smuts and Lungi Ngidi, he has not met the team’s requirements for the ODI series.

He will, however, join the Proteas camp for the duration of the series and continue to work with the team’s strength and conditioning coach, Tumi Masekela, with the aim of being matchready for selection for the T20 international series from February 12 to 16.

I’m proud of the work that’s been achieved by the four players who have been in our high performance camp for the last three weeks, commented Cricket South Africa interim Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith.

It’s been a tough assignment and the guys have really put in the work with the ambition to get into the green and gold in mind, that’s the kind of commitment and grit we’re looking for in our national team.

I’m pleased that Lungi, Tabraiz and JonJon have been declared fully fit to join the ODI squad and I’m confident that Sisanda will be in that circle soon enough. He has put in an immense amount of work over a short period of time and we want to ensure he has the tools to deal with the high demands of international cricket when the opportunity arises.

The Proteas men have an incredibly busy year of limited overs cricket ahead of them and we want to be certain that our players are up for the demands that will come. African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Michael Sherman

Source: African News Agency