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Rookie keeper Tsolekile 'chosen' as Boucher's successor

Johannesburg, Tue, 14 Feb 2012 ANI

Johannesburg, Feb 14(ANI): South African rookie Thami Tsolekile has been included in the list of 22 nationally-contracted players, indicating that the national selectors have earmarked him as Mark Boucher's successor when he quits wicket-keeping after the England tour.


"Yes, Thami wouldn't be getting a national contract if we didn't think he was the successor. There's obviously still a selection process that has to happen before any series, so you can't take anything for granted, but it's a decision based on his SuperSport Series performances over the last two or three years and also on the fact he's never let the SA team down," convenor of selectors Andrew Hudson said.


Tsolekile has seemingly won the race for wicket-keeping due to his perfect glovework and tenacious batting edging past Dane Vilas, Heino Kuhn and Daryn Smit.


"Thami's been a serious contender for a while, he's 100% as a gloveman plus he's been scoring runs. He made 58 against Australia in November on a difficult pitch and that showed he has some serious ability," Hudson said.


Tsolekile's long-term future as the South African wicketkeeper will, to a great extent, depend on his performance in the England tour, Sport 24 reports.


"It's definitely possible that Thami will go to England, it makes sense for him to go as an understudy," Hudson said.


Tsolekile, 31, is one of three newly-contracted players, the other new contracts going to Titans batsmen Faf du Plessis and Jacques Rudolph.


Nationally contracted squad: Graeme Smith, AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Johan Botha, Mark Boucher, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Colin Ingram, Jacques Kallis, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Ashwell Prince, Jacques Rudolph, Dale Steyn, Juan Theron, Thami Tsolekile, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.(ANI)


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