ICC Champions Trophy 2017: South Africa cricket squad announced; Keshav Maharaj in, Dale Steyn out

Sayantan Maitra
keshav maharaj, south africa

Cricket South Africa (CSA), on Wednesday, April 19, announced their full squad for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in England and Wales, scheduled for a June start. 

The most notable absentee from the 15-man squad remains star pacer Dale Steyn. Instead, Morne Morkel has been granted a return to the Proteas' ODI side; Morkel has not played the 50-over cricket for South Africa since June 2016.

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The niggling shoulder injury has possibly kept Steyn out of the squad. His absence, however, has come as a boon of sorts for left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, who hasn't yet played a single ODI match in his career.

"We feel we have a squad that covers every scenario that we could possibly be faced with on the tour. Most importantly, every player knows and understands their role and value within the squad," mentioned Linda Zondi, CSA's convener of selectors.

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"Keshav has had an exceptional debut season for the Test side [he took two 5-wicket hauls against New Zealand] and his inclusion in the squad gives us a spinner with a different skills and extra batting depth. We have seen how important it is to bat deep in ODI cricket; this option will give us that cover if needed."

AB De Villiers, as expected, remains the captain of the side, while 38-year-old Imran Tahir is set to be the integral figure in the bowling attack. 

South Africa are clubbed with India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Group B of the tournament. Their first match will be against the Lankans at the Oval on June 3.

South Africa full squad: AB de Villiers (c), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (wk), Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, David Miller, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Keshav Maharaj, Dwaine Pretorius, Farhaan Behardien, Morne Morkel.

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