Johannesburg [South Africa], January 26 (ANI): Thirty-two-year-old Simon Harmer, will return to the Proteas Test set-up for the outbound tour to New Zealand. The last time the right-hand, off-spinner appeared for the national team was against India in November 2015.
He is joined by Lutho Sipamla in the squad of 17 that departs for the two-match series on February 2.
In a move to minimize COVID-19 risk, both fixtures, which will form part of the new cycle of the ICC World Test Championship, will now take place at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
Harmer returns due to the imminent nuptial of George Linde, who is not available to take part in the tour. Prenelan Subrayen is also not available for selection, due to a groin injury. He is making good progress in his rehabilitation.
Harmer made a big splash by taking seven wickets on his Test debut against the West Indies in January 2015 in Cape Town, and went on to play four more matches, taking 20 wickets in total in eight innings, at an average of 29.40.
The remainder of the Dean Elgar-led squad holds no surprises and will see the welcome return of Kagiso Rabada, who was rested for the recently concluded Betway One-Day International (ODI) series against India.
CSA Convenor of Selectors, Victor Mpitsang said: "The National Selection Panel and I are pleased to see the Test team playing more cricket and we are looking forward to watching them perform in what we hope will be another scintillating series, this time, against the ICC World Test Champions, the BLACKCAPS. Our Test team has been successful under the strong leadership of Dean Elgar and his deputy, Temba Bavuma, and has 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. We wish Dean, coach Mark Boucher, and the team all the best for the series and safe travels," he added.
Proteas Test squad vs New Zealand: Dean Elgar (captain), 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. (ANI)