Ace gloveman Boucher dropped for India tour

Published: Wednesday, October 27, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Durban:South African selectors sprang a surprise dropping ace gloveman Mark Boucher from its squad for the forthcoming tour of India beginning next month. He has been replaced by uncapped Thami Tsolekile.

Opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs, who had a cloud of uncertainty hanging over his availability for the tour, choose to opt out due to fears that he may be apprehended in connection with allegations of match-fixing in 2000.

Left-arm spinner Nicky Boje, who was also implicated, has been made vice-captain. Swing bowler Charl Langeveldt has been kept on standby incase Boje changes his mind.

The selectors also inducted three more new faces-Hashim Amla, Zander de Bruyn and Alfonso Thomas in the touring party.

All-rounder Andrew Hall returns to the squad for the first time since last playing in the fourth Test against West Indies in January. Justin Ontong makes his first appearance since the tour of Australia in 2001/02.

Jacques Rudolph, who is suffering from a back injury, will have to undergo fitness test.

Besides Boucher and Gibbs, the other members of the side that toured Sri Lanka, who were wielded the axe were paceman Nantie Hayward, seamer Andre Nel, all-rounder Lance Klusener and Andrew Puttick.

The Squad : Graeme Smith (captain), Nicky Boje (vice captain), Hashim Amla, Zander de Bruyn, Boeta Dippenaar, Andrew Hall, Jacques Kallis, Makhaya Ntini, Justin Ontong, Shaun Pollock, Jacques Rudolph, Thami Tsolekile, Alfonso Thomas, Martin van Jaarsveld.

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