South Africa ‘A’ players can stake their national team claim on cricket tour to Sri Lanka

South Africa ‘A’ players can stake their national team claim on cricket tour to Sri Lanka
Zubayr Hamza of South Africa A getting his 100 during day 4 of the 3rd Four-Day Tour match between South Africa A and India A at Mangaung Oval on 9 December, 2021 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. (Photo: Charle Lombard/Gallo Images)

Nine of the 15 players who are in Sri Lanka for the SA ‘A’ tour have represented the national team before.

South Africa ‘A’ begin their five-match tour of Sri Lanka with a 50-over match against the hosts on Sunday.

Recent Protea international Tony de Zorzi will skipper the side while Test coach Shukri Conrad will oversee the tour as head coach while Proteas white-ball coach, Rob Walter will serve as his assistant.

The three one-day and two four-day matches allow the head coaches of both the national teams to get a closer look at a few of the Proteas’ fringe players during the domestic off-season. 

Within the 15-man squad, there are nine players who have represented South Africa at the highest level in the past.

“The squad reflects the next crop of players that are emerging from our pipeline. We also rewarded those who have performed for their respective domestic teams this past summer,” said Conrad.

“The tour will provide the opportunity for those players, together with the younger Proteas, to put their skills to the test in highly competitive, international conditions.

“It will also serve to strengthen the batting depth in the red-ball department, as we build towards the Test series against India later this year.” 

A few young starlets in the squad will be hoping to make a lasting first impression within the national team ranks such as Dewald Brevis, Jordan Hermann, Beyers Swanepoel and Matthew Breetzke.

While there are players who have knocked the door down but found that there’s yet another on the island of Sri Lanka that needs to be opened too.

Kyle Verreynne South Africa ‘A’

Kyle Verreynne of Joburg Super Kings gets an edge and is caught during the Betway SA20 match between Durban’s Super Giants and Joburg Super Kings at Kingsmead Stadium on 11 January, 2023 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo: SA20/Sportzpics/Gallo Images)

Kyle Verreynne

The 26-year-old Verreynne was the second top scorer in South Africa’s humbling 2-0 Test series defeat to Australia at the end of last year with 168 runs at an average of 33.6.

Although those numbers are not spectacular, Verreynne stood up when most of his teammates faltered.

He hasn’t had the easiest introduction to Test cricket with the bat in his 14 matches with an average of 28.60 but seemed to finally find his feet Down Under and looked like the incumbent with the gloves.

But when new Test coach Conrad took the reins after the departure of Mark Boucher, he elected to go with 31-year-old Heinrich Klaasen as his wicketkeeper instead for the two-match Test series against West Indies.

“Kyle’s omission was a tough one. Ultimately, I get paid to make certain calls and subjectivity plays a part,” Conrad said at the time.

“And this was my conversation with Kyle. He’s done everything that can be possibly expected, but I think Klaasen’s done more and deserves a full crack at it.”

Verreynne now has the opportunity to re-stake his claim for the Test match gloves after Klaasen had a below-average series against the Windies, at home, where he struck 56 runs in four innings with a high score of 20.

Verreynne has already shown that he has the required skill set with the gloves at the highest level, while a reminder of his ability with the willow on the turning tops in Sri Lanka might be what’s needed to convince Conrad of his burgeoning talent at international level. 

Dewald Brevis, South Africa 'A'

Dewald Brevis of MI Cape Town hits over the top for six during the Betway SA20 match between MI Cape Town and Pretoria Capitals at Newlands Cricket Ground on 23 January, 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo: SA20/Sportzpics/Gallo Images)

Dewald Brevis

Brevis is one of a handful of players in Sri Lanka without international experience but at only 20 years old so much of his cricketing future still lies ahead of him.

While this tour is not necessarily make-or-break for the youngster, it is an opportunity to improve and test his skills in unfamiliar conditions in the subcontinent.

Brevis has only played six 50-over domestic matches and three first-class matches in his young career that has already seen a remarkable 44 20-0ver domestic games.

While Brevis will likely not be part of the two four-day matches, seeing what he can do with his hard-hitting blade against a contingent of Sri Lankan spinners is an exciting prospect.

Zubayr Hamza of South Africa 'A'

Zubayr Hamza of South Africa bats during day three of the First Test Match in the series between New Zealand and South Africa at Hagley Oval on 19 February, 2022 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo: Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

Zubayr Hamza

The tour to Sri Lanka will be the first time since the start of last year that Zubayr Hamza will play for a national team since he was banned for taking an illegal substance in 2022.

The stylish right-hander was the incumbent for the No 3 position in the Test side and was just starting to find his feet in the 50-over game before his untimely ban.

After playing a few matches for Western Province at the backend of the last season, the 27-year-old decided to move on from WP – where he has spent his entire career so far — and has instead gone to the Lions where he will play from next season on in an effort to rebuild his career.

The fact that Hamza was selected for the tour to Sri Lanka shows there is still belief in his undoubted talent from those above. A solid outing in the three-week trip to the subcontinent could send a timely prompt to national selectors about what the Test team has been missing in his absence.

Lutho Sipamla, South Africa 'A'

Lutho Sipamla of South Africa bowls during day two of the tour match between England Lions and South Africa at The Spitfire Ground on 10 August, 2022 in Canterbury, England. (Photo: Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

Lutho Sipamla

It’s hard to believe that Lutho Sipamla is still only 25 years old considering he made his Proteas debut at the start of 2019. The then fresh-faced 20-year-old had control and temperament beyond his years but was always behind a long line of world-class fast bowlers.

And although his progress has been steady in the succeeding years, Sipamla hasn’t been able to find a consistent enough breakthrough in any of the three international formats he has already played in.

While the subcontinent doesn’t often favour pace bowling, Sipamla’s accuracy and variations could serve him well in Sri Lanka. DM

South Africa ‘A’ squad

Tony de Zorzi (captain, Western Province), Matthew Breetzke (Warriors), Dewald Brevis (Titans), Gerald Coetzee (Titans), Zubayr Hamza (Lions), Jordan Hermann (Warriors), Tshepo Moreki (Lions), Senuran Muthusamy (North West Dragons), Keegan Petersen (Rocks), Sinethemba Qeshile (Warriors), Lutho Sipamla (Lions), Tristan Stubbs (Dafabet Warriors), Beyers Swanepoel (Warriors), Kyle Verreynne (Western Province) and Lizaad Williams (Titans).


South Africa A Tour to Sri Lanka Itinerary

One-Day Matches:

Sunday, 4 June

Sri Lanka A vs South Africa A in Kandy

Tuesday, 6 June

Sri Lanka A vs South Africa A in Kandy

Thursday, 8 June

Sri Lanka A vs South Africa A in Kandy


Four-Day Matches:

12 – 15 June

Sri Lanka A vs South Africa A in Dambulla

19 – 22 June

Sri Lanka A vs South Africa A in Dambulla


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