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CRICKET SOUTH AFRICA's (CSA) National Selection Panel on Wednesday named the 15-man South Africa squad to compete at the ICC World Twenty20 to be played in India next month. 

Rilee Rossouw and David Wiese, who missed the India series through injury, return to the squad, as doesAaron Phangiso who has been preferred to Eddie Leie as the second specialist spin bowling option.

Dale Steyn also makes a return to the squad, although his inclusion is subject to his being passed fit.

Steyn was rested for the Proteas’ previous T20 assignment away to India and injury has prevented him from playing much international cricket since then.

The 15-man squad will also do duty in the upcoming Twenty20 International Series to be played againstEngland and Australia during the course of the next four weeks.

“We have a lot of experience in this group with 10 of the players having played in the last ICC World Twenty20 in 2014, also on the sub-continent,” commented Cricket South Africa (CSA) selection convener, Linda Zondi.

“The inclusion of Aaron means that we have all our spin bowling options covered with he, Imran Tahir andJP Duminy offering the different varieties. Left-arm spin bowlers tend to play big roles under Indian conditions.

“Dale’s return is very good news,” he added. “He brings tremendous experience and leadership to the team, not to mention his skills as the outstanding fast bowler of his generation.” 

Proteas coach, Russell Domingo, says the upcoming series against England and Australia will be a good opportunity for the squad to fine-tune their preparation ahead of the tournament. 

“We take some confidence from our T20 series wins against Bangladesh and India and kept relatively the same players who have had success on the sub-continent,” Domingo said. “We have been playing good T20 cricket of late and this is our opportunity to showcase our skills at a World event. The upcoming T20 series’ against England and Australia will be the ideal platform for us to fine-tune some combinations and to hopefully gain some winning confidence ahead of the tournament next month.

“We are in a tough group in the tournament with EnglandWest IndiesSri Lanka and a qualifier. All of the top six teams on the world rankings have the skill and ability to lift the trophy so it’s a completely open competition with high stakes.” 

South Africa T20 captain, Faf du Plessis, says the squad is motivated and hungry to do well in the competition. 

“The ICC World T20 is the competition that we have been working towards over the last 18 months,” he said. “We have had disappointments in the past and this year is another great opportunity for us to lift that elusive ICC trophy. We have been playing together as a squad for some time now and are really hungry and motivated to put in the performances to bring us success. I’m really excited about the group of players who will be representing the country and hope we can make everyone p roud.” 

South Africa ICC World Twenty20 Squad: Faf du Plessis (capt), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Chris Morris, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn, David Wiese