Lutho Sipamla earns call-up to South Africa’s T20 squad

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Rabada has been rested for this series. © Getty

Warriors fast bowler Lutho Sipamla has been named in a 14-man South Africa squad for the forthcoming T20I series against Pakistan. The 20-year-old fast bowler rose to fame in the just-concluded Mzansi Super League where he picked 16 wickets at 20.56 from 10 games for the Tshwane Spartans, finishing only behind Duanne Olivier’s tally of 20 wickets in the series charts.

“Lutho made a very good impression in the Mzansi Super League which is making a big contribution to our talent pipeline in helping to bridge the gap between franchise and international cricket,” said National Selection Panel convener Linda Zondi.

Also included in the squad is keeper-batsman Gihahn Cloete, who made his national-team debut in a T20I against Zimbabwe at East London in October 2018. National Selection Panel convenor confirmed that Cloete would don the gloves at some point during the series despite the presence of two keepers higher up in the hierarchy – Quinton de Kock and Heinrich Klaasen. This, Zondi said, was a means to prepare a succession plan and build a solid pool of reserve players.

“Rassie van der Dussen, Beuran and Reeza Hendricks, Lutho Sipamla, Gihahn Cloete and Anrich Nortje were all standout players in the MSL and it is already reaping rich dividends for the future of South African cricket,” Zondi said.

“With the exception of Anrich who is still injured these players are all part of the T20 squad. We will be giving Gihahn the opportunity to keep wicket as part of our strategy to build up the depth in the wicketkeeping position to back up Quinton de Kock with both Gihahn and Heinrich Klaasen capable of holding down positions as specialist batsmen,” he added.

As was hinted during the announcement of the ODI squad, premier fast bowler Kagiso Rabada was not selected to play the series as a means for him to rest before South Africa began their final stretch of preparation heading into the 2019 World Cup in England. The three-match T20I series starts on February 1 in Cape Town before subsequent games in Johannesburg (February 3) and Centurion (February 6) drawing the curtains on Pakistan’s tour.

T20 Squad

Faf du Plessis (c), Gihahn Cloete, Junior Dala, Quinton de Kock, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Chris Morris, Wiaan Mulder, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lutho Sipamla, Rassie van der Dussen