SA 'A' set for Sri Lanka duel
Cape Town - The country’s next tier of Proteas players will start their journey towards recognition when the South Africa "A" side takes on Sri Lanka "A" in the first four-day match of the tour starting in Durban on Saturday.
High Performance Coach, Vincent Barnes is in charge of the squad, alongside Faf du Plessis who is the captain.
“It’s an important tour for a lot of these cricketers,” Barnes said. “If they want to play for South Africa at the highest level this is where they need to put in the performances. It is not only about the individuals, as a team we want to go out there and play good cricket. It’s not often that we have quality international opponents to compete against and this is an opportunity for the players to test their skills.”
The squad has been training at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria for the past week, where they have focused on fitness, mental aspects of the game as well as the strategy for the up-coming series.
Dean Elgar, a player who has consistently excelled for the Knights in domestic cricket, will have another opportunity to stake his claim for national honours after missing out on his opportunity against the touring Sri Lankans early this year due to a knee injury.
“We’ve had a very good week together, we have prepared really well,” Elgar said. “This tour is massive for us, it’s great that the “A” side is being given these kind of opportunities against international counterparts and it gives players like us the drive and motivation to do well because we are striving to play for South Africa one day.”
The teams will play two four-day matches in Durban, followed by a One-Day Triangular series also featuring Zimbabwe "A" to be played in Harare.
The final 15-member squad will be announced on Wednesday.
Fixtures:South Africa A v Sri Lanka A (four-day series):
June 30-July 3, Kingsmead
July 7-10, Kingsmead
Sri Lanka will have a warm-up match against a Dolphins XI from June 24-26Triangular ODI series in Zimbabwe:
July 13, South Africa A v Sri Lanka A
July 14, Zimbabwe A v Sri Lanka A
July 15, Zimbabwe A v South Africa A
July 17, South Africa A v Sri Lanka A
July 18, Zimbabwe A v South Africa A
July 19, Zimbabwe A v Sri Lanka A
July 21, Final