Congratulating its players on being named in the ICC’s Test Team of the Year, Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Monday said the domination of Proteas players in the list is a tribute to the sterling cricket that the African nation has produced over the past year.
Batsman Hashim Amla and allrounder Jacques Kallis were joined by pace bowling duo of Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn in the squad which has a fifth South African — AB de Villiers — as the 12th man.
Michael Clarke has been appointed captain of the Test Team. The 31-year-old is the only Australian to make the team of the year.
“This is a tribute to the sterling cricket our own Castle Lager Test XI has produced over the past year. I believe that several other South African players must have come close to being selected as well,” said CSA acting CEO Jacques Faul.
“This is the fifth year in a row that Dale has been selected which speaks volumes for both the excellence and the longevity of his international career. We all know the physical stress that fast bowlers subject their bodies to and it says a lot for the way that Dale has managed himself both on and off the field that he has missed so few Test matches during this period,” he said.
Faul had special words of praise for Philander and Amla, who have been nominated for the ICC’s most prestigious award, the Sir Garfield Sobers trophy, for the ICC Cricketer of the Year and for the Test Cricketer of the Year.
“The cherry on the top is for Philander and Amla to be nominated for the Sir Garfield Sobers trophy and for the Test Cricketer of the Year as well, as has Richard Levi for the T20 performance of the year award and Kallis and De Villiers for the Spirit of Cricket award.
“The fact that Philander and Levi are both in their first year of international cricket is a highly encouraging sign for the future and also evidence that our development pipeline structures are working very well,” Faul added.
The ICC will hold its annual award ceremony in Sri Lanka next month.