South Africa centre Andre Esterhuizen has been ruled out of Saturday's series decider against Wales with a broken hand.

The 28-year-old sustained the injury during the Springboks' 13-12 loss in Bloemfontein over the weekend.

Boks assistant coach Deon Davids confirmed on Monday that Esterhuizen is facing around a month on the sidelines.

However, South Africa were always expected to revert back to the XV that started the first Test, which ended in a dramatic 32-29 victory.

That would see Lukhanyo Am and Damian De Allende recalled as the hosts' starting midfield combination for the Cape Town showdown.

Esterhuizen is now in a race against time to be fit for South Africa's opening Rugby Championship match against New Zealand on August 6.

Josh Adams scored a late try as Wales claimed a dramatic 13-12 victory over South Africa to level the series in Bloemfontein.

Wales secured their first away win over the Springboks in 12 attempts after Adams went over in the corner with Gareth Anscombe converting with just over a minute remaining at the Toyota Stadium.

Wayne Pivac's side had lost their four previous Tests away from home, but they went into the break level at 3-3 following a scrappy first half in which Dan Biggar and Handre Pollard exchanged kicks.

Pollard was captaining the reigning World champions after Jacques Nienaber made 14 changes from the narrow 32-29 win in the first Test last weekend.

The Montpellier fly-half kicked a further nine points as the hosts edged closer to maintaining their record of having never lost a three-Test series on home soil when winning the opener.

But Wales did well to hold their own with a numerical disadvantage after Alun Wyn Jones was controversially sin-binned; the replacement deemed to have been cynical with his hands in the breakdown.

Upon his return, the visitors launched one final surge and following a neat build-up, Anscombe - who had earlier split the uprights with a penalty to keep Wales in striking distance - offloaded for Adams to cross in the corner.

Anscombe subsequently held his nerve under the most intense pressure to convert from a tight angle; his nation recording their first Test victory in South Africa since overcoming Japan at the 1995 World Cup.

Brendon McCullum says his England side are about much more than aggressive cricket, labelling the term 'Bazball' "silly" as he responded to Steve Smith's comments about the team's revival.

England have looked reinvigorated since McCullum and Ben Stokes took over as red-ball coach and captain respectively.

They have posted three of their highest-ever run chases in their last three Tests after a remarkable victory over India at Edgbaston.

Having whitewashed world champions New Zealand 3-0, England completed a 378-run chase against India on Tuesday, drawing the teams' delayed series and sparking new levels of excitement among fans.

'Bazball' – the term coined to describe England's aggressive style under the New Zealander – has won near-universal praise, but the coach himself says it does not do justice to their displays.

"I don't really like that silly term that people are throwing out there," he told Australian radio station SEN. 

"Because there's actually quite a bit of thought that goes into how the guys manufacture their performances and when they put pressure on bowlers and which bowlers they put pressure on. 

"There's also times where they've absorbed pressure beautifully as well."

Former Australia skipper Steve Smith is among those yet to be convinced by England's style, recently declaring to the Sydney Morning Herald: "I'm just intrigued to see how long it lasts, if it's sustainable."

Australia's 4-0 Ashes humiliation of England in December and January irreversibly damaged Joe Root's captaincy, with the next edition of the teams' Test rivalry set for 2023.

McCullum insisted Smith was right to question England, adding Australia would provide the biggest challenge of his tenure but stressing his immediate focus was on the three-part series with South Africa, set to begin on August 17 at Lord's.

"I saw those [comments] flick up on one of the feeds somewhere," McCullum added. "It's quite right, it is going to be a big challenge when we take on Australia.

"It's going to challenge our method, and it's going to challenge what we're capable of achieving and that's pretty exciting I reckon.

"Isn't that what the game's all about? To sort of reinvigorate yourself and then be confronted against the very best.

"I do believe that both New Zealand and India are two very, very good cricket sides as well. Australia is a different kind of challenge because of the history of the Ashes and the rivalry which exists there.

"We know that's probably the ultimate challenge for us. We'll have to deal with that in time, I guess. In this job you plan as if you'll live forever and live as if you'll die tomorrow.

"You want to make sure you enjoy the ride. I keep preaching to the boys about being where your feet are and to try to immerse yourself in the here and now.

"You take your eye off anything, and teams will be able to make sure you look a bit silly. Our focus will be on South Africa for now but at some point in time, that will be a series which we [focus on].

"Test cricket needs the Ashes to be strong and competitive. You'd say the last one wasn't so that's the task for us in time."

Wayne Pivac can understand the reasons behind South Africa naming an almost entirely new team to face Wales in their second Test but says his side will not take the second-string Springboks lightly.

Reigning world champions South Africa beat Wales 32-29 last weekend in Pretoria with the final kick of the ball in a thrilling start to the three-Test series.

The sides reconvene in Bloemfontein on Saturday in a game Wales, who have now lost three in a row against their opponents, must win to keep their hopes of a series triumph alive.

The hosts surprisingly named 14 changes to their side for this weekend's showdown when announcing their squad on Tuesday, with experienced lock Eben Etzebeth – in line for his 99th cap – the only player to retain his place in the XV.

Among the fresh faces in the Springboks' side are uncapped pair Kurt-Lee Arendse and Evan Roos, while four others – Ntuthuko Mchunu, Ruan Nortje, Deon Fourie and Grant Williams – could make their debuts from the bench.

Welsh rugby great Gareth Edwards accused South Africa of "disrespecting" Wales with their selection, but Pivac was more understanding when asked about the mass changes at his news conference on Thursday.

"From our point of view, it's a big focus on what we can improve from the last Test match," he said. "We are in a different part of the cycle; really we're at the end of our season, and they're at the start of theirs. 

"They've got their reasoning why they did it. They've got depth and quality throughout the squad and some experience in this team. So we're certainly not taking them lightly at all.

"There are players playing there with an opportunity to impress for the third test, so we know they'll come out strongly and represent their country like anyone else in that jersey. So for us, it's around what we can control and that's our performance.

"It hasn't changed our preparation at all. It is going to be 15 rugby players in green shirts, and we are expecting more of the same."

 

Unlike their opponents, Wales have stuck largely with the same group that came agonisingly close to pulling off a big result last weekend, with wing Alex Cuthbert replacing Josh Adams in the only change.

Adams is among the replacements, as is uncapped prop Sam Wainwright after Tomas Francis returned home following the concussion suffered in the first Test.

Elsewhere, George North will equal Stephen Jones' record as the most-capped Wales men's international back when making his 104th appearance.

Pivac's side head into the contest on a run of four successive defeats, each coming by a margin of four points or fewer – not since a six-match losing streak between February and November 2020 have they endured a worse run.

South Africa: Gelant, Arendse, Kriel, Esterhuizen, Fassi, Pollard (c), Hendrikse; Thomas du Toit, Dweba, Nyakane, Etzebeth, Orie, Coetzee, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Roos.
Replacements: Marx, Mchunu, Koch, Nortje, Elstadt, Fourie, Williams, Willemse.

Wales: Williams, Rees-Zammit, North, Tompkins, Cuthbert, Biggar (c), Hardy; Thomas, Elias, Lewis, Rowlands, Beard, Lydiate, Reffell, Faletau.
Replacements: Lake, Wyn Jones, Wainwright, Alun Wyn Jones, Navidi, Williams, Anscombe, Adams.

 

Dan Biggar was bemused by criticism of Wales' approach to their first Test in South Africa, wondering if they were expected to "just roll the carpet out".

Wales came agonisingly close to a famous win in Pretoria, ultimately going down 32-29 following four costly yellow cards – including one for Biggar.

After playing a brief period with 12 men, Wales had 13 on the pitch when an unlikely try gave Biggar a conversion that would have secured an improbable late lead.

Instead, he missed the posts and was then punished for a knock-on at the other end, allowing Damian Willemse to settle the match from the tee.

There would have undoubtedly been some relief in the Springboks camp as they were ultimately able to celebrate following their first home game in front of a crowd since winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Trailing 18-3 at half-time, South Africa captain Siya Kolisi acknowledged afterwards: "They [Wales] got under our skin."

There were multiple confrontations between the two sets of players off the ball, and Kolisi added his team "did a couple of things out of character".

When Biggar subsequently faced the media, he could not understand why Wales were expected to shoulder the blame for incidents of this nature.

"I don't know what the referee expected us to do," he said. "Just come here, lie down and give South Africa everything their own way?

"From our point of view, we wanted to try to get in their faces, get in their faces and not take a backwards step. That's part of the game.

"We were coming here, and if you stand off South Africa out here, then you'll get steam-rolled pretty quickly. You need some aggression and competitiveness and get into it.

"I didn't see any issue. They were just as niggly, competitive and as abrasive as we were. From our point of view, that was perfect for us.

"The decisions will be analysed. But from our point of view, I don't understand why people are bothered about it.

"It's a Test match, and we're away from home against the world champions. I'm not quite sure what people expected from us, just roll the carpet out and applaud them off the pitch?

"I don't know what the issue is. It's a Test match and we were more than happy to get stuck into them. That's what Test matches are about.

"I really don't understand. I see it as a non-event. That's exactly what you want from a Test match; you want it confrontational, you want it aggressive.

"There was no dirty play or anything. We just went at it and got confrontational. It worked for us, certainly in the first half.

"I've got no issue whatsoever. Whatever happens on the field, you shake hands afterwards, and there is absolutely zero issue."

World champions South Africa required an 83rd-minute penalty from Damian Willemse to defeat an indisciplined Wales side 32-29 in Pretoria.

The Springboks' first home match in front of a crowd since winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup was an epic – albeit not the sort the South Africa fans might have anticipated.

Despite four yellow cards that saw Wales squander a half-time advantage, Wayne Pivac's men almost rescued a remarkable result, only to be denied at the last.

Two Louis Rees-Zammit tries gave Wales a commanding lead, but Dan Biggar headed to the sin bin shortly before the interval, and Bongi Mbonambi powered over following the restart.

Malcolm Marx also crossed, and the visitors appeared to have collapsed after Cheslin Kolbe's try was followed by a yellow card for Alun Wyn Jones – the awarding of which caused some confusion.

Rees-Zammit went from hero to zero as his desperate attempt to stop a South Africa try saw him join Jones on the sidelines, and Wales were down to 12 men and behind when Rhys Carre's intervention resulted in a penalty try.

But the tourists did not lack spirit and sensationally drew level again through Dewi Lake with 13 on the pitch, only for Biggar to marginally miss the posts with the conversion when he could have secured a late lead.

Instead, Biggar's knock-on at the other end allowed Willemse to kick the Springboks to a memorable triumph to begin this three-Test series, which continues in Bloemfontein next Saturday.

Wales coach Wayne Pivac is hoping for a first good night's sleep in almost four months when his side get their tour of South Africa underway this weekend.

The tourists kick off their three-match series against the world champions at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Saturday in what will be the teams' second meeting since the Springboks won their 2019 Rugby World Cup semi-final encounter.

Armed with several players who partook in the British and Irish Lions' tour to the Southern Hemisphere last year, Pivac will have some experienced heads on hand as he hopes to spring a surprise.

But he admits his time spent masterminding his side's prospects after a dismal start to 2022 means he will only rest soundly when the first game is done and dusted.

"I’ll probably get my first decent night's sleep since the end of the Six Nations," he stated. "That's a fact.

"It just doesn't go away. The thing with coaches and players is you're not happy until you get your next win under your belt. It's been a long time between drinks, and of course there is that memory.

"If you finish on winning the Six Nations then it's quite a nice memory, but losing to Italy has been challenging in terms of the pressure you put on yourself as opposed to the pressure others put on you."

Wales have lost their past three matches and are winless in five away from home, sliding to ninth in the world rankings while South Africa retain top spot.

Pivac is aware his side will be the underdogs, adding: "It's understandable. You've got to look at where the two teams are coming from. They're the world champions, in their own backyard, at altitude.

"It's a tough place for anyone to go, and from the outside looking in, from our last performance, you would write us off.

"The main thing is that we haven't written ourselves off. Some of the players look at it, a lot of them are on social media all the time. It's a fact of the game. I don't mind it at all, because it is just people reporting on the facts.

"If you want to argue, play a bit better. That's where we've got to do our arguing and say that we are better than that, don't write us off and then bang."

India skittled South Africa over for only 87 to seal a huge 82-run win in Rajkot, levelling up their T20I series at 2-2 and teeing up a mouth-watering decider on Sunday.

Avesh Khan claimed outstanding figures of 4-18 as India eased to a victory even more comprehensive than Tuesday's 48-run win in Visakhapatnam.

India earlier lost Ruturaj Gaikwad (5), Shreyas Iyer (4) and Ishan Kishan (27) during the opening seven overs, but that was nothing compared to the tourists' spectacular collapse, as Rassie van der Dussen top scored for the Proteas with just 20 runs.

The hosts had been reduced to 40-3 after being put in by Temba Bavuma, but a stand of 65 between Hardik Pandya (46) and Dinesh Karthik (55) following Rishabh Pant's departure for 17 got them motoring.

Karthik's superb half-century helped carry India to a respectable 169-6, and he was only dismissed by Dwaine Pretorius midway through the final over before South Africa put in a dreadful performance with the bat.

Quinton de Kock (14) was the first to go, followed within three balls by Pretorius for a duck after captain Bavuma retired with an elbow injury.

Things only got more painful from there as Avesh ran riot, adding the scalps of Van der Dussen (20), Marco Jansen (12) and Keshav Maharaj (0) to that of Pretorius, while Yuzvendra Chahal (2-21) also made his mark as India kept their hopes of a stunning series turnaround alive.

Avesh wreaks havoc

Avesh capitalised on another fragile display with the bat and the momentum is firmly with Indiai.

If Tuesday's attempt at a chase had been poor – Heinrich Klaasen's 29 representing their best showing, Friday's was truly woeful, with only De Kock, Van der Dussen and Jansen reaching double figures during a chastening chase.

Pandya and Karthik step up

India had been wobbling early on, but Pandya and Karthik stepped up following top-order failures.

In particular, Karthik's 55 off 27 balls carried the hosts into the final over, and helped to leave the series delicately poised.

Harshal Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal starred as India wrecked the South Africa top order in Visakhapatnam, sealing a massive 48-run victory to reduce their T20I series deficit to 2-1.

The hosts needed to win to keep their hopes of a series triumph alive after going down to Heinrich Klaasen's career-best 81 in Sunday's four-wicket defeat.

And superb bowling displays from Harshal (4-25) and Chahal (3-20) meant they did exactly that after Ruturaj Gaikwad (57) and Ishan Kishan (54) hit half-centuries for the hosts, who scored 179-5.

The tourists produced a disappointing performance with the bat as they toiled to 71-5 and ultimately fell well short of their much-improved hosts, eventually bowled out for 131 in the final over.

Having been put in to bat by South Africa, Gaikwad and Ishan wasted little time in establishing a strong platform for the hosts, the former becoming the first dismissal of the contest in the 10th over, by which point India had 97 on the board.

While Dwaine Pretorius (2-29) eventually claimed the wickets of both Ishan and skipper Rishabh Pant (6) to keep the Proteas in contention, their hopes of wrapping up the series early were quickly shattered when they took up the bat.

The dismissal of skipper Temba Bavuma for just 8 set the tone for a dismal South African display, with Reeza Hendricks (23), Rassie van der Dussen (1), Pretorius (20) and David Miller (3) all following in a miserable start.

With India in full control, Chahal and Harshal ran riot, the latter claiming his fourth wicket when dismissing Tabraiz Shamsi for a golden duck with the final ball of the contest as the dominant hosts kept the series alive.

Dominant duo run riot

Having struggled to make headway against South Africa in the first two contests of the series, the Indian attack was back to its best in this potentially decisive third clash. 

Harshal set the tone by sending Bavuma and Hendricks tumbling early before finishing with four, while Chahal stepped up to claim his own treble, ensuring there was to be no repeat of Klaasen's heroics by dismissing him for 29.

Home openers on form

Gaikwad and Ishan's gave India a superb platform to build from, with the former recovering from his poor start to the series – in which he had previously scored just 24 runs across two innings – as the pair each hit crucial half-centuries.

Heinrich Klaasen smashed a career-best 81 as South Africa claimed a 2-0 T20I series lead with a four-wicket victory over India.

Ishan Kishan (34) and Shreyas Iyer (40) offered India a bright start at the Barabati Stadium on Sunday.

But the hosts' middle-order batters struggled before Dinesh Karthik scored a brisk 30 off 21 balls to propel India to 148-6.

Having chased an improbable 212 in the first meeting, South Africa initially struggled this time around with Bhuvneshwar Kumar reducing the tourists to 29-3 after an opening spell of three wickets for 10 runs.

Captain Temba Bavuma watched as wickets fell around him but posted an important 35 before being bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal (1-49).

Bavuma combined in a vital 64-run partnership with Klaasen, whose brutal 81 came off just 46 deliveries before he was removed by Harshal Patel (1-17) and Wayne Parnell (one) fell to Kumar (4-13).

David Miller (20 not out) then saw South Africa over the line with 10 balls to spare as the Proteas furthered their advantage in the five-match series.

Rapid Rabada

Rabada became the fourth South African bowler to claim 50 wickets in men's T20Is when he dismissed Ruturaj Gaikwad for one in the first over.

The fast bowler achieved the feat in his 42nd game, making him the third-fastest bowler from South Africa to a half-century of dismissals, behind only Dale Steyn (35) and Imran Tahir (31).

Hendricks misses opportunity

Chasing a far from imposing total, Reeza Hendricks had the chance to make his mark as an opener, replacing South Africa stalwart Quinton de Kock.

However, the 32-year-old made just four before being bowled by Kumar as he failed to leave a lasting impression in a rare opportunity at the top of the order.

David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen starred as South Africa chased a remarkable 212 to end India's 12-game T20I winning run.

Ishan Kishan (76) combined with Shreyas Iyer (36) in a destructive 80-run partnership as India posted 211-4 – the highest score in T20Is at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.

That total was boosted by a late flurry of runs from Rishabh Pant (29 off 16 balls) and Hardik Pandya's 12-ball 31 for a much-changed India, without Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah or Virat Kohli.

South Africa soon lost captain Temba Bavuma (10) in the chase, caught behind off Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-43), before Dwaine Pretorius and Quinton de Kock offered brief resistance.

Harshal Patel (1-43) then removed Pretorius (29), and De Kock (22) followed to Axar Patel (1-40), with South Africa 81-3 after 8.4 overs, before Miller and Van der Dussen joined in an incredible 131-run partnership.

Miller blasted 64 off 31 and Van der Dussen – dropped on 29 by Iyer – mustered 75 off 46 deliveries to complete the sixth-highest run chase in T20I history and take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

India run ends

India seemed set to move clear of Afghanistan and Romania (both 12) for the longest winning streak in the format's history and end South Africa's own four-game winning run.

But the late heroics of Miller and Van der Dussen ensured South Africa collected their 12th win in 13 T20Is, while India have won just one of their past five at home to the Proteas in 20-over cricket.

Maharaj misery in winning cause

Maharaj picked up the all-important wicket of Kishan, but the left-armer struggled against India, albeit in a winning cause.

He went for 43 from his three overs, at an economy of 14.33, but could have been helped by De Kock had the wicket-keeper not missed a stumping of Iyer on 25.

Rishabh Pant will captain India for the first time against South Africa after KL Rahul was ruled out of the five-match Twenty20 International series.

Rahul was due to lead India in the absence of the rested Rohit Sharma, but the batter has sustained a groin injury.

That has opened the door for Pant to step up, with Hardik Pandya named vice-captain after leading Gujarat Titans to the Indian Premier League title in his first tournament as captain.

Delhi Capitals skipper Pant is relishing the opportunity to lead his country in a series that starts at Arun Jaitley Stadium on Thursday.

The wicketkeeper-batter said: "It's a great feeling, especially getting an opportunity like this in your hometown.

"There is nothing bigger than this. It didn't come under very good circumstances but I will try to make most of it and give my 100 per cent."

Pant came under fire for costly mistakes he made during a must-win IPL encounter with Mumbai Indians last month, but says he will learn from such experiences.

"I think it [captaining in the IPL] will help me a lot because when you keep doing the same thing over a period of time, you tend to improve," the 24-year-old said.

"I am someone who keeps on learning from my mistakes and that's something which is going to help me in the coming days as well."

Spinner Kuldeep Yadav has also been ruled out of the series after taking a blow on his right hand in the nets on Tuesday, while Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah have been rested along with Rohit.

India will become the first men's team to win 13 T20I matches in a row if they take a 1-0 lead over the Proteas.

The tourists are also in excellent form, having been victorious in 11 of their past 12 games in the shortest format - their only loss during that time coming against Australia in the T20 World Cup last October.

 

Malik to be unleashed, Karthik returns

Umran Malik has been rewarded for a hugely impressive IPL by being called up for India duty for the first time.

The 22-year-old paceman was the fourth-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 22 for Sunrisers Hyderabad and is a hugely exciting prospect. 

Dinesh Karthik has not played for his country since 2019, but the 37-year-old wicketkeeper-batter is back in the fold with the World Cup on the horizon.

Nortje back, Van der Dussen closing on landmark

South Africa have brought a strong squad to India and are boosted by the return to fitness of Anrich Nortje.

Nortje had been sidelined by a hip injury, but played in the IPL and is set to fire in a hostile South Africa attack.

The Proteas also have a dangerous batting line-up and Rassie van der Dussen needs only 67 runs to reach the 1,000 landmark in T20Is. If he scores those runs in his next innings, he would be the joint-fastest to reach that figure along with Faf du Plessis (32 innings).

Cheteshwar Pujara has been rewarded with a return to the India squad for the rearranged fifth Test against England in July after a fine spell in the County Championship.

India, led by Virat Kohli, were 2-1 up in the five-match Test series in England before the tourists were unable to field a team due to coronavirus-related concerns in September.

The one-off Test starts at Edgbaston on July 1, following a four-day warm-up game against Leicestershire on June 24, and India have named their 17-man red-ball squad.

Pujara was dropped for the home Test series against Sri Lanka but has been reinstated after managing 720 runs in eight innings for Sussex – including four centuries – in County Championship Division Two.

Ravindra Jadeja is also part of the touring party despite pulling out of the ongoing Indian Premier League due to a rib injury, while Hanuma Vihari and Shubman Gill retained their spots.

Rohit Sharma will lead the Test side after Kohli, who remains in the squad, stepped down as captain following the 2-1 series defeat to South Africa earlier this year.

Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami will lead the bowling attack, which includes Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur and the uncapped Prasidh Krishna.

Ajinkya Rahane was not available for selection after sustaining a hamstring injury, while openers Mayank Agarwal and Priyank Panchal were the other two left out from the Sri Lanka series.

Meanwhile, Rohit, Kohli and Bumrah were all rested for the home five-match T20I series against South Africa, which starts on June 9.

KL Rahul will skipper the white-ball side in Sharma's absence, with fast bowler Umran Malik handed a maiden call-up after impressing in the IPL with Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The experienced Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik return to the international limited-overs squad, while spin duo Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal make their comebacks after taking the IPL by storm.

Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda and Shreyas Iyer all retain their spots, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar heading a bowling attack that includes Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan and Arshdeep Singh.

India’s Test squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain) Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Prasidh Krishna.

India’s T20I squad: KL Rahul (captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (vice-captain)(wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik.

South Africa batter Zubayr Hamza has been banned from all cricket-related activities for nine months by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for doping.

Hamza in March agreed a voluntary suspension after testing positive for banned substance Furosemide – which is not a performance-enhancing drug – in an out-of-competition sample on January 17.

The 26-year-old admitted the violation and, after establishing no significant fault or negligence on his part, the world governing body banned him until December 22.

Hamza's performances between January 17 and March 22 this year have been disqualified.

During that time, he scored 25 runs in the first innings and six in the second of the Proteas' innings-and-276 run defeat to New Zealand in the first Test in Christchurch.

He also made three appearances for Western Province, with a highest score of 30.

Alex Marshall, ICC general manager – integrity unit said: "The ICC is committed to keeping cricket clean and has a zero-tolerance approach to doping.

"It is also a timely reminder to all international cricketers that they remain responsible for anything they put into their bodies, to know exactly what medication they are taking so as to ensure it does not contain a prohibited substance and does not result in an anti-doping rule violation."

South Africa have named a strong 16-man squad for their upcoming five-match T20I series against India, but former captain Faf du Plessis has been overlooked.

Paceman Anrich Nortje is back in the fold for the first time since last year's 2020 World Cup after proving his fitness in the Indian Premier League following a hip and back problem, while Tristan Stubbs has received a maiden call-up.

All of the South African players who opted out of the Test series against Bangladesh in March and April in favour of playing in the IPL have been called back up for the tour, which takes place next month.

That includes Kagiso Rabada, who has taken 22 wickets in the IPL this season - the third-best total in the competition.

However, in-form batter Du Plessis, who is the seventh-highest run scorer in the IPL with 399 at an average of 33.25, misses out again.

Du Plessis, who captains Royal Challengers Bangalore, has not played white-ball cricket for the Proteas since December 2020. He retired from the longest format last year.

Head coach Mark Boucher remains in place after Cricket South Africa "formally and unreservedly" withdrew the charges of gross misconduct against him.

South Africa's selection convener Victor Mpitsang said: "This is the Proteas like we have not seen them in a long time. The injection of the IPL players means that we will have a team that's ready to fire on all cylinders immediately and has vast experience of the conditions that we will be playing in.

"The country can also join us in a collective sigh of relief at the return of Anrich Nortje, who has been working hard to recover from a frustrating injury. The National Selection Panel and I are really excited to watch our full-strength Proteas take on the world's number one T20 team."

South Africa's squad in full: Temba Bavuma (captain), Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Wayne Parnell, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs, Rassie van der Dussen, Marco Jansen.

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