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Proteas spring a surprise with Simon Harmer recall for New Zealand tour

FILE - Simon Harmer makes his return to the national team set-upShaun Roy/BackpagePix

FILE - Simon Harmer makes his return to the national team set-upShaun Roy/BackpagePix

Published Jan 26, 2022


Cape Town - The Proteas have recalled Simon Harmer from the international wilderness for the two-Test tour of New Zealand next month.

Harmer last played for the Proteas against India in 2015 before changing course by signing a Kolpak deal with Essex in the English County Championship in 2017.

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The 32-year-old made an immediate impact at Chelmsford leading the East London club to their first Championship for 25 years. He has since gone to take ​​​The right-arm off-spinner has since taken 250 wickets for Essex across the last four seasons, which has included another two championship titles and the Bob Willis Trophy in the truncated 2020 season.

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But with the Brexit coming into effect in the United Kingdom that has seen the Kolpak ruling disbanded, Harmer is once again available for selection for the Proteas even though he is still contracted to Essex as an overseas professional.

He is also currently the second highest wicket-taker in CSA's 4-Day Series behind another former Kolpak Duanne Olivier, who has already been integrated into the Proteas Test squad, with 27 wickets at an average of 21.40 for the Titans.

Harmer replaces Western Province left-arm spinner George Linde due to his pending nuptials, while Dolphins spinner Prenelan Subrayen, who was also part of the extended Proteas squad for the Indian seriesw is also not available for selection due to a groin injury.

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The only other addition to the Test squad is the return of young Lions fast bowler Lutho Sipamla. The 23-year-old will hope to add to his two Test caps of last year after showing promising form domestically with 16 wickets, which included best-match bowling figures of 7/39 at an average of 16.56.

“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," said selection convenor Victor Mpitsang.

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“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."

Full Proteas Test squad for New Zealand:

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Dean Elgar (captain), Temba Bavuma (vice-captain), 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 (wicket-keeper).

South Africa Test Tour to New Zealand Itinerary

Thursday, 17 to Monday, 21 February

1st Test Hagley Oval, Christchurch

Friday, 25 February to Tuesday, 01 March 2nd Test Hagley Oval, Christchurch