Simon Harmer has been called to South Africa’s Test squad for their two-Test match series against New Zealand next month. The 32-year-old Harmer, who last appeared for Proteas in 2015, is joined by Lutho Sipamla in the 17-man squad. In a move to minimise Covid-19 risk, both fixtures, which will form part of the new cycle of the ICC World Test Championship, will take place at Hagley Oval, Christchurch.

The first Test will be played from February 17 to 21, while the second from February 25 to March 1. Harmer returned to the side due to the imminent nuptial of George Linde, who was not available to take part in the tour. Prenelan Subrayen is also not available for selection owing to a groyne injury.

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Subrayen is making good progress in his rehabilitation. The remainder of the Dean Elgar-led squad holds no surprises and will see the return of Kagiso Rabada, who was rested for the recently concluded ODI series against India. “Our Test team has been successful under the strong leadership of Dean Elgar and his deputy, Temba Bavuma, and have returned good results in recent times. We are confident that they will continue in the same vein, as they head off to New Zealand,” said Victor Mpitsang, CSA Convenor of Selectors.

“The inclusions of Simon (Harmer) and Lutho (Sipamla) reaffirm our intentions as a panel, to reward excellence on the field and the pair have let their work speak on their behalf this past season.” South Africa Test squad vs New Zealand: Dean Elgar (c). Temba Bavuma (vc), Sarel Erwee, Simon Harmer, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Duanne Olivier, Keegan Petersen, Kagiso Rabada, Ryan Rickelton, Lutho Sipamla, Glenton Stuurman, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne.

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