South Africa announce 17-member squad for New Zealand tour, Simon Harmer earns recall

South Africa announce 17-member squad for New Zealand tour, Simon Harmer earns recall

Simon Harmer last played for South Africa in 2015.

Simon Harmer
Simon Harmer. (Photo by Carl Fourie/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Simon Harmer has earned a recall as South Africa announced their 17-member squad for the two-match Test series against New Zealand next month. Having last played for the Proteas team in 2015, Harmer had quit South African cricket and signed a Kolpak deal with Essex in 2017. However, changes in policy meant Cricket South Africa have been welcoming the players they lost due to the Kolpak system.

Meanwhile, the offspinner has been included in the traveling squad as a back-up for Keshav Maharaj with George Linde being unavailable due to his impending wedding. With over 700 First-Class wickets in his kitty, Harmer is well versed with the drill of the purest format. Having made his Test debut in 2014, the 32-year-old did well in his first five Test appearances, returning with 20 wickets.

Simon Harmer awarded for his stellar show in domestic cricket  

However, he then retired from international cricket and served Essex. Nevertheless, the spinner is back thanks to some impressive performances in the domestic circuit. Alongside him, there is also a recall for pacer Lutho Sipamla, who missed out on series against West Indies and India at home. Meanwhile, there aren’t many changes in the Dean Elgar-led team, which defeated India 2-1 earlier this month.

On expected lines, pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada is back in the reckoning after resting from India ODIs. His partner-in-crime Anrich Nortje is yet to regain fitness and hence, he misses out once again. Opener Aiden Markram has retained his place after a dismal show against India and would like to justify the trust of national selectors.

Meanwhile, CSA Convenor of Selectors, Victor Mpitsang said: “Our Test team has been successful under the strong leadership of Dean Elgar and his deputy, Temba Bavuma, and have returned good results in recent times. We are confident that they will continue in the same vein, as they head off to New Zealand.”

“The inclusions of Simon (Harmer) and Lutho (Sipamla) reaffirm our intentions as a Panel, to reward excellence on the field and the pair have let their work speak on their behalf this past season,” he added. Meanwhile, the two-match Test series gets underway on February 17, with both fixtures taking place at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

South Africa squad for New Zealand tour: Dean Elgar (capt), Temba Bavuma, Sarel Erwee, Simon Harmer, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Duanne Olivier, Keegan Petersen, Kagiso Rabada, Ryan Rickelton, Lutho Sipamla, Glenton Stuurman, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne