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Page last updated at 18:58 GMT, Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Nel discarded as SA quota bites

A Nel
Andre Nel celebrates taking his 100th ODI wicket in Bangladesh

Andre Nel has been dropped from South Africa's squad for the Test series in India, which starts in March.

South Africa selection convenor Joubert Strydom said there had been "a lot of discussion" about the 14-man squad, which includes six non-white players.

In two changes from the squad selected for Tests in Bangladesh, two non-white players, fast bowler Charl Langeveldt and spin bowler Robin Peterson, are in.

Nel and fellow white bowler Johan Botha have both been discarded.

Botha has taken just four wickets in his two Test appearances, but Nel may feel more unfortunate.

He is ranked 22nd in the world among Test bowlers, while Langeveldt has not played a Test since January 2006.

"There was a lot of toing-and-froing," said Strydom, without commenting directly on rumours that the squad had again been the subject of a tug-of-war between the selectors and Cricket South Africa president Norman Arendse.

The announcement last month of the touring party for Bangladesh, which only included four black players, was delayed by more than a week. The squad eventually departed without the sanction of Arendse.


He then won backing from CSA's general council for a policy of six players of colour in a 14-man squad - a requirement met in the selection of the squad for India.

"Targets and transformation was one of the issues we were aware of when we took on the job as selectors," said Strydom.

"It is a part of South African sport, as it is in politics and economics."

Strydom said he felt the squad, to play three Tests from 26 March, would provide a stern challenge for the in-form Indians.

The two teams will be battling for the number two place in the official Test rankings.

Strydom did not comment on individual selections.

There were reports Nel was so angry he had been dropped for the India tour that he initially threatened to withdraw from the second one-day international against Bangladesh on Wednesday.

But he eventually played and took 4-27 to earn the man-of-the-match award.

No one-day internationals are scheduled for the India tour.

South Africa squad: Graeme Smith (captain), Ashwell Prince (vice-captain), Hashim Amla, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Paul Harris, Jacques Kallis, Charl Langeveldt, Neil McKenzie, Morne Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn.

see also
Nel shines as SA seal series win
12 Mar 08 |  Cricket
South Africa omit Gibbs for tour
11 Feb 08 |  Cricket
SA coach to retain selector role
10 Feb 08 |  Cricket
South Africa in India 2008
23 Jan 08 |  Cricket

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