Van der Dussen shock omission as Walter names Proteas T20 World Cup squad

30 April 2024 - 10:06
By Stuart Hess
Proteas white-ball coach Rob Walter. File photo
Image: Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images Proteas white-ball coach Rob Walter. File photo

Rassie van der Dussen was a shock omission from the Proteas squad named for the T20 World Cup on Tuesday.

Van der Dussen, 35, is the second highest run scorer in T20 cricket this year but lost out on one of the batting spots to his provincial teammate Ryan Rickelton whose form in the SA20 and CSA T20 Challenge was too hard to ignore. 

Van der Dussen, with Pakistan’s Babar Azam, are the only two batters to score more than 1,000 runs in the T20 format this year. Van der Dussen has made two centuries and scored his runs at a strike rate of 146.35.

In another surprise in the 15-man squad announced by head coach Rob Walter, Anrich Nortjé has been recalled to the national team despite struggling in the IPL since making a return from a long-term back injury. 

The squad also contains a third front-line spinner in Bjorn Fortuin, who captained the Lions successfully in their triumph in the T20 Challenge where they beat the Dolphins in the final at the Wanderers on Sunday. Fortuin joins Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi as spin options. 

Besides Nortje, the fast bowling line-up includes Kagiso Rabada, Ottniel Baartman, for whom it is a first World Cup call up, and Gerald Coetzee, who was one of the stars for the Proteas in last year’s run to the semifinals of the ODI World Cup in India. 

Aiden Markram captains a South African side at a World Cup for the first time and leads a powerful batting group that includes David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen, Quinton de Kock, Rickelton and Tristan Stubbs, whose recent form for Delhi in the Indian Premier League cemented his spot. 

Nandre Burger and Lungi Ngidi will accompany the squad as travelling reserves. 

“Selecting this group was tough considering the amount of T20 cricket that has been played recently and the form that has been on show,” Walter said.

“We have seen incredible performances from our players in 2024 and that made my job tough. I am nonetheless proud and confident we have named the strongest possible squad that no doubt has every chance of success in the West Indies and US.”

The Proteas open their World Cup campaign against Sri Lanka at the temporary facility at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in Long Island, New York, on June 3. 

They will play their next two group D fixtures against the Netherlands and Bangladesh in the “Big Apple”, while their last group match is against Nepal in St Vincent. 

Cricket South Africa also named a 15-man squad for a short tour to the West Indies that will comprise three T20 Internationals, which includes Van der Dussen. Six of the World Cup squad are in that group and they will be joined by leg-spinner Nqaba Peter, who made an enormous impact in the T20 Challenge, taking 20 wickets for the Lions. 


T20 World Cup:

Aiden Markram (capt), Ottniel Baartman, Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, David Miller, Anrich Nortjé, Kagiso Rabada, Ryan Rickelton, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs

Travelling Reserves: Nandre Burger and Lungi Ngidi 

South Africa T20I provisional squad against West Indies: 

Matthew Breetzke, Ottniel Baartman, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Patrick Kruger, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Nqaba Peter, Ryan Rickelton, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen