England in SA
Eagles first up for England
Bloemfontein - England will provide another test of the strength of the franchise system when they open their tour this weekend with limited overs outings against the Eagles and the Warriors.
The first match will be played at the OUTsurance Oval in Bloemfontein on Friday (14:30) and the second at the neutral venue of the De Beers Diamond Oval in Kimberley on Sunday (10:00).
Apart from the excitement generated by England's two-and-a-half month tour that consists of two Standard Bank International Pro20s, five MTN ODIs and four Castle Test matches, the weekend matches will provide a window of opportunity for some of South Africa's best young talents.
New cap Ryan McLaren is the only Eagles representative in the Proteas' ODI and Pro20 squads but they are the dominant franchise when it comes to the next level of talent.
There were five franchise representatives - CJ de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Reeza Hendricks, Rilee Rossouw and Thandi Tshabalala - in the Emerging Squad that reached the final of their tournament in Australia during the winter and four of those - Hendricks is the exception - will see action for the South Africa A side against the tourists shortly.
Rossouw, who has been awarded an IPL contract, and De Villiers were two of the star turns of the recent Champions' League in India and a continuation of that form will see them putting pressure on the selectors for even higher recognition.
Hendricks and Rossouw were both part of the 2008 Under-19 World Cup squad (they were beaten finalists) that has already produced Wayne Parnell for the national side and both bring good form from their most recent MTN40 outing against the powerful Titans line-up that included several South African first-choices.
Apart from McLaren, who joins his new Proteas' team-mates on Friday to prepare for the ODI series against Zimbabwe, the only other notable absentee from the Eagles' line-up is Johannes van der Wath.
Dillon du Preez will have to pass a late fitness test with Alan Kruger on standby.
Teams for Friday:
Andrew Strauss (captain), Alastair Cook, Joe Denly, Paul Collingwood, Eoin Morgan, Jonathan Trott, Matt Prior, Luke Wright, Graeme Swann, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan, Jimmy Anderson, Graham Onions, Sajid Mahmood
Boeta Dippenaar (captain), Reeza Hendricks, Morne van Wyk, Rilee Rossouw, Dean Elgar, Ryan Bailey, Con de Lange, Dillon du Preez (or Alan Kruger), CJ de Villiers, Thandi Tshabalala, Victor Mpitsang