Cricket South Africa (CSA) has left out veteran fast bowler Dale Steyn from its national contract list for the 2020-21 season, while pacer Beuran Hendricks has been included in the 16 players' list for the first time. However, former Proteas captain Faf du Plessis has been offered a new 12-month contract for the South Africa cricket team, suggesting he is still in the scheme of CSA and likely to extend his international career beyond the ICC T20 World Cup in October 2020. Du Plessis had said that he would review his international future after the tournament.
After handing over the captaincy of the team for all three formats to wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock, du Plessis had said he would review his international future after the T20 World Cup. But, having been named as one of 16 recipients of a national contract for the 2020-21 season, he now looks set to be available for the next South African summer, which includes home tests against Sri Lanka and Australia.
In the list announced on Monday, all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius, batsman Rassie van der Dussen and fast bowler Anrich Nortje received contract upgrades.
"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 formats," CSA Acting Chief Executive Dr Jacques Faul said.
"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 men's contracts will cover the T20 World Cup in Australia, South Africa's home series against Sri Lanka (Tests), Australia (Tests), Pakistan (T20Is), India (T20Is) and away tours to West Indies and Sri Lanka.
In women's category, Nadine de Klerk and Sinalo Jafta earned contract upgrades during the course of the past season, and these two players have been retained on the list of contracted players.
The women's contracts will cover the Women's World Cup to be played in New Zealand in 2021, in addition to the West Indies and England tours. It will also cover the postponed home series against Australia.
"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," the CSA release further stated.
Contracted men's 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
Contracted women's players: Trisha Chetty, Nadine de Klerk, Mignon du Preez, Shabnim Ismail, Sinalo Jafta, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Lizelle Lee, Sune Luus, Tumi Sekhukhune, Chloe Tryon, Dane van Niekerk, Laura Wolvaardt