Cape Town: South Africa have decided to rest fast-bowling spearhead Dale Steyn for this month’s one-day tour of Sri Lanka.
The paceman had injury problems in the recent Champions Trophy in England, forcing him to miss the semi-final defeat by the hosts, and that has weighed heavily on the minds of the selectors with Test series coming up against Pakistan, India and Australia.
“We are resting Dale Steyn as we have a very important and crowded Test season ahead of us and we want to be absolutely certain that, as the leader of our attack, he is properly rested and fit,” Cricket South Africa selection convener Andrew Hudson said in a statement yesterday.
Test captain Graeme Smith is also out after the opening batsman had ankle surgery in May, but fast bowler Morne Morkel is fit after missing most of the Champions Trophy with a groin strain.
Young wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock has been recalled, while all-rounder David Wiese was named in the Twenty20 squad for the first time.
South Africa also announced that former spinner Claude Henderson would be mentoring the slow bowlers on an interim basis.
“Claude will be available for 100 days per year,” said new coach Russell Domingo. “We have been keen to appoint a specialist spin-bowling coach for some time now, particularly as we will be playing a lot of cricket in Asia in the year ahead.”
Henderson is playing his last season of first-class cricket for English county Leicestershire before retiring.
Adrian Birrell, who led Ireland to the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, has also been named as assistant coach to Domingo.
South Africa will play five 50-over matches and three Twenty20s in Sri Lanka between July 20 and August 6, the first series since Domingo replaced Gary Kirsten as coach.