Faf Du Plessis retains South Africa central contract

Hendricks also handed debut deal

Faf du Plessis batting for South Africa

Former captain Faf Du Plessis has been handed a central contract with South Africa for the 2020/21 season.

He was replaced at Proteas skipper across all formats by wicket-keeper/batsman Quinton de Kock and there had been retirement talk. However, it looks like the 35-year-old is still in his countries plans for the next 12 months.

One player to miss out is pace ace Dale Steyn. He has not been retained along with Theunis de Bruyn and retiring pair Hashim Amla and Vernon Philander.

It means that Beuran Hendricks has been given his first national contract. He made his debut in January against England in January and has been rewarded for his efforts.

Rassie van der Dussen, Anricj Nortje and Dwaine Pretorius have all seen their contracts upgraded by Cricket South Africa (CSA).

Final contract spot can be won through performance

It has also been confirmed that a final 17th place in the contracted list is being kept free. It can be awarded based on performances.

“We have contracted 16 men's players and 14 women's players which we feel is the appropriate number to maintain our national squads across the various formats,” said CSA Acting Chief Executive Dr Jacques.

“This enables us to contract both our Test players as well as those who are limited-overs specialists. We have decided to keep the 17th men's contract open for the moment and players can qualify for it through performance.

“The upgrade system will again be in place this year wherein the players performing and selected for South Africa during the 2020/21 season and who are not contracted can qualify for a National Contract upgrade.”

South Africa's upcoming season covered by the new contracts starts with a limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka and two Tests and three T20s against West Indies.

They are then due to face Pakistan in six white-ball matches before the T20 World Cup in October and November.

In 2021, they are scheduled to face Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Australia and England during a busy start to the year.

South Africa contracted players: Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen.

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