South Africa pick ~~coloured~~ squad for World Cup

Published: Friday, February 16, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesburg:South Africa announced a World Cup squad with no surprises, keeping the 15 players who gained a convincing series win over Pakistan.

Graeme Smith will captain a side strong in all-rounders, seam bowling and fielding but with no top-quality spin bowler.

The squad includes seven black players, meeting the World Cup target announced by Cricket South Africa chief executive Gerald Majola in February 2005.

Majola said: "We are sending a 15-man squad that will provide a formidable challenge. All these players have been involved in high level domestic or international competition and have also been part of a high performance programme since last season."

Coach Mickey Arthur said the selected players had proved their ability. "Our recent victories against India and Pakistan are an indication of the work put in by everyone."

Smith said: "We have worked together to make a formidable team over the last 18 months and everyone knows what their specific responsibilities are within the team. We back each other and we will go out and give our best for our country."

South Africa have risen to second place in the international one-day rankings, closing the gap on World Cup champions Australia.

The squad announced Thursday has with minor changes been together for the past year, during which South Africa reached the ICC Champions Trophy semi-finals and won 10 out of 11 one-day internationals during the home season.

Left-arm spin bowler Robin Peterson played in only one of the side's five matches against Pakistan as South Africa used an all-seam attack.

Loots Bosman, 29, a hard-hitting opening batsman, played in only one match, while seam bowler Roger Telemachus, 33, did not play at all.

Fast bowler Makhaya Ntini will not travel with the team on February 28. He will join them after the birth of his second child in time for the second warm-up match against Pakistan in Trinidad on March 9.

The Squad:

Graeme Smith (capt), Jacques Kallis (vice-capt), Loots Bosman, Mark Boucher (wk), AB de Villiers, Herschelle Gibbs, Andrew Hall, Justin Kemp, Charl Langeveldt, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini, Robin Peterson, Shaun Pollock, Ashwell Prince and Roger TelemachusCoach: Mickey Arthur


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