Klaasen named skipper of Proteas T20 squad for Pakistan series


Wicketkeeper batsman Heinrich Klaasen will lead the Proteas in their three-match T20I series in Pakistan.

Cricket South Africa announced an 18-man squad on Wednesday 20 January with the group devoid of Test regulars who will jet home after the second Test which precedes the T20 series.

Test players excluded from T20I group

The Proteas face a challenge to get their Test squad back in time to prepare for the three-match Test series against Australia scheduled for March.

Only Dwaine Pretorius, George Linde and Tabraiz Shamsi will stay on in Pakistan after the Test series.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled sporting bodies to find innovative ways of ensuring tours and sporting events take place as planned or with as little disruption to revised plans as possible,” Director of Cricket Graeme Smith said. 

“We are not exempt from that, and have had to do a bit of outside-of-the-box thinking to ensure that we are fully prepared for a home Test tour against Australia, while having an exciting T20 series to compete in, in Pakistan.

“We’re in the final stages of concluding plans for how the coaching and support staff will also be managed for the two tours. We will share those details when they have been finalized.

“It’s an example of the measures that some cricket nations will have to put in place to ensure that they can squeeze more than one tour in a period of three or four months, while fulfilling COVID-19 protocol obligations.

“The circumstances we find ourselves in allow the National Selection Panel to cast a wide net and give some of the young and exciting talent that has been in the their sights the opportunity of a lifetime in a T20 World Cup year.”

Okuhle Cele, Ryan Rickleton and Jacques Snyman receive their maiden national team call-ups, while Glenton Stuurman will return to the national team after injury saw him released from the Test squad ahead of the start of the second match against Sri Lanka and Johannesburg.

“A lot will be said about the inexperience of this team, but the Selection Panel and I believe we have a special group of players in this team that will do us proud in Pakistan. It’s a big year for T20 international cricket, with the World Cup coming up and this is the ideal opportunity for youngsters to put their hands up and grab opportunities, however they may come.

“We are excited to see what these youngsters will do under what won’t be the easiest of conditions, but more than that, we as a Panel, are looking forward to seeing the more experienced players step up as leaders and take ownership of the team.

“We fully support Heinrich Klaasen with the captaincy role. He is not new to leading a team and has done so throughout his career. We know he is more than up for the challenge and will represent South Africa well in Pakistan.

“On behalf of the National Selectors Panel, I would like to wish him and the team all of the best for what will truly be an exciting and highly anticipated series.”

Proteas T20I squad for series vs Pakistan

Heinrich Klaasen (captain, Momentum Multiply Titans), Nandre Burger (Six Gun Grill Cape Cobras), Okuhle Cele (Momentum Multiply Titans), Junior Dala (Momentum Multiply Titans), Bjorn Fortuin (Imperial Lions), Reeza Hendricks (Imperial Lions), George Linde (Six Gun Grill Cape Cobras), Janneman Malan (Six Gun Grill Cape Cobras), David Miller (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Andile Phehlukwayo (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Dwaine Pretorius (Imperial Lions), Ryan Rickleton (Imperial Lions), Tabraiz Shamsi (Momentum Multiply Titans), Lutho Sipamla (Imperial Lions), Jon-Jon Smuts (Warriors), Pite van Biljon (VKB Knights), Glenton Stuurman (Warriors), Jacques Snyman (VKB Knights).

Pakistan T20 Series vs South Africa Itinerary

11 February – 1st T20I, Lahore

13 February – 2nd T20I, Lahore

14 February – 3rd T20I, Lahore