South Africa on Thursday called up batsman Khaya Zondo to its Test team for a two-match series against Bangladesh but have been forced to name a weakened 15-man squad.
It will be without its frontline seam attack with Marco Jansen, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada to all play instead in the Indian Premier League, which starts on March 26, plus batsman Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen.
It comes after an agreement between the players’ union and Cricket South Africa to allow players to compete in the IPL and other lucrative limited overs events.
"The loss of the IPL players is not ideal, but we back the CSA system, its ever growing pipeline and most of all, the players we have selected," Convenor of Selectors Victor Mpitsang said in a statement.
Zondo, 32, has played six One Day Internationals for South Africa level but gets his first Test call-up to provide cover in the middle order.
Keegan Petersen, who was the one of the heroes of the home series win over India at the start of the year, returns after missing last month’s tour to New Zealand because of a COVID-19 infection.
The Tests will be staged at Kingsmead in Durban from March 31 to April 4, and St George’s Park in Gqeberha, formerly known as Port Elizabeth, April 8-12.
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