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Heinrich Klaasen named captain of second-string South Africa squad for Pakistan T20Is
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Heinrich Klaasen named captain of second-string South Africa squad for Pakistan T20Is

Wicketkeeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen has been appointed captain of South Africa's T20I squad for the upcoming series against Pakistan as the visitors have opted to rest several of their Test regulars for the Australia assignment.

Only four members of South Africa's existing 21-player squad in Pakistan have been retained for the T20I clashes – all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius, left-arm spinners Tabraiz Shamsi and George Linde, and speedster Lutho Sipamla.

The rest of the Test squad will travel back to South Africa following the conclusion of the second Pakistan Test on February 8 in order to prepare for the home series with Australia.

The quick turnaround from the end of the Pakistan tour and the quarantine requirements amid the Covid-19 pandemic means that the likes of Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Aiden Markram have to miss the Lahore T20Is.

"We have had to do a bit of outside-of-the-box thinking to ensure that we are fully prepared for a home Test tour against Australia while having an exciting T20 series in Pakistan," said CSA director of cricket Graeme Smith.

The travel plans for South Africa's coaching staff were not fully disclosed, though it is expected that head coach Mark Boucher will accompany the Test team on their way home.

"It's an example of the measures that some cricket nations will have to put in place to ensure that they can squeeze more than one tour in a period of three or four months while fulfilling Covid-19 protocol obligations," Smith added.

South Africa's 18-man T20I squad hosts the presence of five uncapped players in Ryan Rickleton, Jacques Snyman, Okhule Cele, Nandre Burger and Glenton Stuurman. Fast bowler Stuurman was earlier called up for the Test series against Sri Lanka but was ruled out due to injury woes.

Apart from the abundance of youngsters in the side, South Africa have the experience of David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo and Reeza Hendricks to boost the team.

The three T20I matches will be staged in Gaddafi Stadium from February 11-14. Meanwhile, the exact dates and venues of Australia's Test series are yet to be determined.

T20I squad

Heinrich Klaasen (capt & wk), Nandre Burger, Okuhle Cele, Junior Dala, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, George Linde, Janneman Malan, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Ryan Rickleton, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lutho Sipamla, Jon-Jon Smuts, Jacques Snyman, Glenton Stuurman, Pite van Biljon

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