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Posted by anccricket on October 31, 2008 at 3:41 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Lonwabo Lopsy Tsotsobe


Born March 7, 1984, Port Elizabeth


Major teams South Africa, Eastern Province, Essex, Sussex 2nd XI, Warriors


Playing role Bowler


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Left-arm fast-medium

Lonwabo Lopsy Tsotsobe

A tall left-arm swing bowler, Tsotsobe, made an immediate impression in his first season for Eastern Province, taking 16 wickets at 17.75 in 2004-05. However, it wasn't until he moved to Warriors in 2006-07 that his obvious ability bore fruit. Three five-wicket hauls and his first ten-for in a match were followed by 49 wickets at 23.59 the next year. There were concerns, however, that his fitness and stamina would prevent international recognition, and in addition his pace; a medium-pacer, he is certainly not in the Brett Schultz league. Nevertheless, another encouraging start to his 2008-09 season (28 wickets in six matches) earned him a call-up to South Africa's squad to tour Australia. He impressed in his debut ODI, taking 4 for 50 and that was good enough to earn him a central contract. With Wayne Parnell injured, Tsotsobe was taken on South Africa's tour of the Caribbean in 2010 as a left-arm option, and admirable returns in the one-day leg lead to a Test debut at Port of Spain.


Posted by anccricket on October 31, 2008 at 3:39 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Ashwell Gavin Prince


Born May 28, 1977, Port Elizabeth, Cape Province


Major teams South Africa, Africa XI, Eastern Province, Lancashire, Mumbai Indians, Nottinghamshire, Warriors, Western Province, Western Province Boland


Batting style Left-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm offbreak

Ashwell Gavin Prince

A crouching lefthander with a high-batted stance and a grimace reminiscent of Graham Gooch, Ashwell Prince was helped into the national team by South Africa's controversial quota system, although he quickly justified his selection by top-scoring on debut with a gutsy 49 against the mighty Australians in 2001-02. That innings, and a matchwinning 48 in the third Test at Durban, seemed to shed his reputation as a one-day flasher. But by the start of the 2002-03 season, his form had fallen away horribly, and he failed in four consecutive home Tests against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.


However, Prince returned to the side following some good domestic performances, and valuable knocks in the middle order against the West Indies and England at home has seen Prince become a more regular member of the South Africa one-day side. Despite two hundreds in the 2004-05 season - an unbeaten 139 against Zimbabwe at Centurion and 131 in South Africa's 2-0 rout of the West Indies - Prince still does not find himself an automatic selection in the longer format of the game. Long rated highly by SA's cricket supremo Ali Bacher, Prince is strong through the off side, and was Western Province's player of the year in 2001. His throwing from the deep has been hampered by a long-term shoulder injury, but he remains a brilliant shot-stopping fielder in the covers. The highlight of his career was a fine 119 in the third Test against Australia at Sydney in early 2006, but it was during this series that he became bunny to a legend: Shane Warne. Warne dismissed him in the first five innings - though Prince played the rest of the bowlers admirably - and troubled him plentiful when South Africa hosted Australia in March. Scores of 17, 27, 33 and 7 overshadowed a fantastic 93 in the first innings at Johannesburg.


In July 2006 he was named as South Africa's first black captain in the absence of the injured Graeme Smith. The result was a disappointing 2-0 whitewash at the hands of Sri Lanka. Prince made way for Mark Boucher to captain in the tri-series, also featuring India, which was ultimately aborted following South Africa's withdrawal over security concerns. Prince was not included in South Africa's squad for the Champions Trophy, but continued his sterling 2006 Test form against India at home. The highest run-scorer on either side in the three-Test contest, Prince's series highlights included an outstanding 97 in a loss at Johannesburg and a third career hundred at Cape Town. When Pakistan toured next, Prince was the only centurion in the three-Test series. His 138 laid the foundations for victory in the first Test at Centurion Park, and his numbers can't be argued with, as he ended the season's six Tests averaging 60.67. It was enough to earn him a recall to the one-day side, including a ticket to the West Indies for the World Cup, but it was a disappointing tournament and he was again omitted for the short tour of Ireland. He enjoyed a reasonable summer against West Indies, however, with 263 runs in the three Tests, and began the subsequent tour of England in scintillating form, with a crucial momentum-shifting century at Lord's, and a brilliant matchwinning 149 at Headingley.


Posted by anccricket on October 31, 2008 at 3:37 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Ryan McLaren


Born February 9, 1983, Kimberley, Cape Province


Major teams South Africa, Eagles, Free State, Kent, Kings XI Punjab, Middlesex, Mumbai Indians, South Africa Under-19s


Playing role Allrounder


Batting style Left-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm medium-fast


Relation Father - P McLaren, Uncle - K McLaren, Cousin - AP McLaren

Ryan McLaren

A hard-hitting allrounder who made an impressive start to his career for the Eagles in South Africa with his aggressive seam bowling and middle-order runs. An international call-up didn't come early though, as South Africa were blessed with an abundance of fast-bowling allrounders such as Shaun Pollock and Jacques Kallis (besides the likes of Andrew Hall and Johan van der Wath). As with so many young South Africans McLaren opted for the Kolpak route and signed for Kent in 2007, taking a a hat-trick in the 2007 Twenty20 final to help Kent win the trophy. Despite remaining under contract with Kent, McLaren was called up for South Africa's ODI squad to face Kenya and Bangladesh in October 2008 but the county refused to release him. It appeared an international career wouldn't happen, but he was released from his county contract at the end of the 2009 season, making him eligible for selection to the South African team. That came soon after, as South Africa named him in their limited-overs squad to face Zimbabwe and England. His rising stock as a Twenty20 player lead to a contract with the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, but he struggled to make an impact in the 2010 edition of the tournament. He remains something of a fringe player in the South African set-up, but although his batting has not quite fired at international level, McLaren made headlines in May 2010 when he picked up 5 for 19 in the first Twenty20 of South Africa's tour of the Caribbean - the second best figures in the format's history.


Posted by anccricket on October 31, 2008 at 3:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Mohammad Imran Tahir


Born March 27, 1979, Lahore, Punjab


Major teams South Africa, Dolphins, Easterns, Hampshire, Lahore Blues, Lahore City, Lahore Lions, Lahore Ravi, Lahore Whites, Middlesex, Pakistan A, Pakistan International Airlines, Redco Pakistan Ltd, Sialkot, Staffordshire, Sui Gas Corporation of Pakistan, Titans, Warwickshire, Water and Power Development Authority, Yorkshire


Playing role Bowler


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Legbreak googly

Mohammad Imran Tahir

Imran Tahir is the epitome of a journeyman cricketer. In fact, he has barely stopped moving. Since starting his first-class career in 1996-97 he has racked up at least 10 teams ranging from Lahore to Yorkshire via the Titans in South Africa. He has had stints with three English counties; Middlesex, Yorkshire and Hampshire, who he signed for in 2008. That he has never remained anywhere for very long suggests a cricketer who has failed to live up to his potential, but his first-class record is impressive with a fine average and imposing strike-rate - impressive enough, in fact, to earn him a call-up to the South Africa Test squad in January 2010 during their home series against England.


However, confusion reigned supreme as later the same day the decision was overturned after it became clear Tahir was not yet eligible for South Africa. A few days later Gerald Majola, the CSA boss, admitted it came as a "shock" to see Tahir in the 15-man party and that the incident had caused "much embarrassment." It was confirmed that Tahir was not available for South Africa until December 2010, which rules him out of the tours to India and West Indies when it was originally believed in qualified in April 2009. Tahir continued to pick up loads of wickets in the domestic circuit for Dolphins, and was finally granted South African citizenship by by naturalisation in January 2011. Less than a week later, he was picked for South Africa's squad for the one-dayers against India.


Posted by anccricket on October 31, 2008 at 3:33 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Lungile Edgar Bosman


Born April 14, 1977, Kimberley, Cape Province


Major teams South Africa, Africa XI, Derbyshire, Dolphins, Eagles, Griqualand West, Mumbai Indians


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm medium

Lungile Edgar Bosman

A hard-hitting opener and an archetype of the successful Twenty20 batsman, Loots Bosman was born in Kimberley in the Cape Province, where he was raised by his grandfather, and made his debut for Griqualand West at the beginning of the 1997-98 season. But despite some success with provincial and South Africa A sides, it was only when Twenty20 cricket arrived in South Africa that Bosman etched his name into his country's cricketing consciousness. Pro20 cricket's first outing came at the end of the 2003-04 season, and Bosman - who was now part of the Eagles team under the new franchise system - topped the batting charts with 219 runs at a strike-rate of 120.99 and a high score of 84* despite the fact that he was asked to bat in the middle order.


Bosman was a key figure in South Africa A's campaign in a triangular one-day tournament in Sri Lanka in 2005-06, but it was his exploits at home that earned him a call-up to the squad for the Twenty20 International against Australia in mid-February. His 22-ball fifty against the Highveld Lions in February was the fastest in the Standard Bank Pro20 series. Player of the Series in the 2006 edition, Bosman became the first batsman to score a century in the competition, reaching three figures in just 43 balls. He failed to get going in the 2007 final, but his contributions to the Eagles clinching the Pro20 title were enough to earn him a look-in for the national Twenty20 side. He missed the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 due to a back injury, though Bosman insisted at the time that he was fit to play and he was subsequently suspended for one domestic match after being found guilty of "unbecoming or detrimental" conduct by Cricket South Africa over comments made to a local newspaper about coach Mickey Arthur after he was left out of the squad.


Bosman turned down a contract with the Indian Cricket League in October 2007, instead signing up for the Mumbai Indians in the first edition of the Indian Premier League, though he couldn't make it into a starting XI. Bosman had a quiet international year in 2008, playing just one Twenty20 against Bangladesh, and at the end of the 2008-09 domestic season moved from the Eagles to the Dolphins franchise in KwaZulu-Natal. Initially named in a provisional squad of 30 for the 2009 World Twenty20, he couldn't find a place in the final 15, but in November of that year he fell one blow short of what would have been, at the time, just the second international Twenty20 century. Smashing 94 from just 45 balls, including nine sixes, against England at Centurion, he was also involved in a world record 170-run opening stand with Graeme Smith as South Africa racked up a mammoth 241 for 6.


Bosman finally made it to a World Twenty20 tournament in the Caribbean in 2010, but appeared strangely out of sorts and made just eight runs in two innings, failing to find the boundary once. Despite that failure, he was signed by Derbyshire as their overseas player for the Friends Provident t20 tournament in 2010, and responded in superb fashion, hammering 94 off 50 balls to set up a crushing 65-run win over a strong Yorkshire side in June.


As he heads into his mid-30s, Bosman's opportunities for South Africa may begin to wane, and though he will be remembered as a punishing Twenty20 batsman, it remains a mystery as to why he was never able to take his success in the format into 50-over or first-class cricket.


Posted by anccricket on October 31, 2008 at 3:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Roelof Erasmus van der Merwe


Born December 31, 1984, Johannesburg, Transvaal


Major teams South Africa, Delhi Daredevils, Northerns, Royal Challengers Bangalore, South Africa Under-19s, Titans


Also known as Roela


Playing role Allrounder


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Slow left-arm orthodox

Roelof Erasmus van der Merwe

With just a clutch of domestic and Under-19 matches to his credit, Roelof van der Merwe marked his Twenty20 international debut for South Africa with a quickfire 48 and 1 for 30. He was duly named Man of the Match. It marked a quick rise for a tidy left-arm spinner who can hit the ball hard.


van der Merwe played in the 2004 Under-19 World Cup before he made his domestic debut in 2006 for Northerns, scoring a duck, and the rest of his playing time that season was rather bland. But when he moved to franchise cricket with the Titans for the 2007-08 season, he found success. van der Merwe topped the wickets tally in the MTN Domestic Championship and finished third in the Standard Bank Pro20 Series, contributing handy run in both tournaments. The Titans won both titles and van der Merwe was named Player of the Year, MTN Domestic Championship Player of the Year, Standard Bank Pro20 Series Player of the Year and the Newcomer of the Year for the Titans. He was later named Domestic Newcomer of the Year at the SA Cricket awards. The following season van der Merwe's 30 wickets were pivotal as the Titans retained the MTN Domestic Championship.


van der Merwe was then picked up for South Africa's two Twenty20 matches against Australia in March 2009 and was catapulted him into the big lights. There was also a contract for the IPL's Bangalore franchise, the Royal Challengers.


Posted by anccricket on October 31, 2008 at 3:28 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Shaun Maclean Pollock


Born July 16, 1973, Port Elizabeth, Cape Province


Current age 37 years 323 days


Major teams South Africa, Africa XI, Dolphins, Durham, ICC World XI, KwaZulu-Natal, Mumbai Indians, Natal, Warwickshire


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium


Relation Grandfather - AM Pollock, Great-uncle - R Howden, Father - PM Pollock, Uncle - RG Pollock, Cousin - AG Pollock, Cousin - GA Pollock

Shaun Maclean Pollock

Considering the type of stuff floating around in his gene pool, it would have been surprising if Shaun Pollock had not been an international cricketer - and a very good one at that. Dad Peter led the South African attack through the 1960s; uncle Graeme was one of the finest, if not the finest, left-hander to play the game. Shaun has bits of both in his makeup, but it is as an immaculate, Hadlee-esque, line and length seamer that he has established himself. At the start of his first-class career, though, he was both slippery and aggressive and his Natal team-mates delighted in totting up the number of batsmen he pinned match after match. He was brought into the South African Test side against Michael Atherton's England tourists in 1995/96 and although his father was the convener of selectors, there was never a hint of nepotism and the younger Pollock took quickly to the higher level.


In 1996 he had a spell with Warwickshire cut short because of an ankle injury and missed the tour to India at the end of that year. But he soon returned to resume his new-ball partnership with Allan Donald and this pairing was the springboard of much of South Africa's success during the latter half of the 1990s. Indeed, it is possible to argue that the emergence of Pollock inspired Donald to greater heights as the latter found himself with a partner who both complemented and challenged him. Perhaps the straightest bowler in world cricket, Pollock is able to move the ball both ways at a lively pace. He also possesses stamina and courage in abundance as in proved in Adelaide in 1998 when he toiled on hour after hour in blazing heat to take 7 for 87 in 41 overs on a perfect batting pitch.


If there is a criticism of Pollock, it is that he has underperformed with the bat, but most Test teams would be perfectly happy to have him in their side if he never scored a run. Pollock was thrust into the captaincy in April 2000 when Hansie Cronje was drummed out of the game, and he faced the biggest challenge of his career - to lift a shocked and demoralised South African side. However, after a solid start to his captaincy, he lost some credibility after a 3-0 drubbing in Australia in 2001-02, and was later blamed for South Africa's disastrous World Cup in which they failed to qualify for the Super Sixes. As a result, Pollock immediately lost the captaincy and was replaced by Graeme Smith. Though his nagging brilliance around offstump remains, his pace and ability to take wickets at the top of the order has dipped.


Pollock missed the first Test against Australia at home in early 2006 with a back injury and was relegated from opener to first-change by the third. Four wickets in two Tests, with a new run-up and on pitches tailormade for his style, showed that he has slowed. But with 100 Tests under his belt, Pollock remains an integral part of the side. He missed the first Test against Sri Lanka due to the birth of his second daughter, returned for the second and was a pale shade of his former self. He managed just one wicket, and it was a telling sign of what appeared to be Pollock's decline to see him resort to offspin after being tonked over his head for six by Sanath Jayasuriya. All that was reversed in the Champions Trophy in India, where he showed great form, and against India and Pakistan at home at the end of 2006 and in the new year. Man of the Series in both the ODIs and Tests against India, Pollock was highly impressive with the new ball and chipped in with useful scores down the order. It was fitting that he became the first South African to take 400 Test wickets. Pollock continued his fine form against the touring Pakistanis next, despite being surprisingly rested for the final Test. Thrifty with the ball and useful with bat he offered precious control and breathing space for his captain. In the ODI series, he was the highest wicket-taker on either side and his 5 for 23 in the final game crushed a weary Pakistan. For the second consecutive one-day series in a row, Pollock was adjudged Man of the Series. It was decent form to carry into his fourth World Cup, but his lack of pace was exposed on the small Caribbean grounds, especially by Matthew Hayden, although his miserly spell against England was key in South Africa securing a semi-final berth. He lost his place in the Test line-up late in 2007 but returned against West Indies, on his home ground in Durban, for what turned out to be his final Test. He announced his retirement midway through the match, the following one-day series being his last international commitments.


Posted by anccricket on October 31, 2008 at 3:26 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Francois du Plessis


Born July 13, 1984, Pretoria


Current age 26 years 326 days


Major teams South Africa, Chennai Super Kings, Lancashire, Northerns, South Africa Under-19s, Titans


Playing role Allrounder


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Legbreak


Height 5 ft 11 in


Education Affies Boys School, Pretoria

Francois du Plessis

Francois du Plessis, known as Faf, could well have joined the South African player drain to England when he signed a Kolpak deal with Lancashire in 2008. However, he was called up to the national side after a stunning season in the MTN40 competition in South Africa in 2010-11, when he topped the run charts with 567 runs from 10 matches, including three centuries. He made his debut in the home series against India before the World Cup, making 60 in his first innings, and was included in South Africa's World Cup squad - although he was part of a misfiring middle order that was one cause of South Africa's quarter-final loss to New Zealand.


du Plessis had toured with South Africa U-19s and already caught the eye in the domestic game before following the route to county cricket having played for Todmorden in the Lancashire League in 2007. He made a positive impression with his all-round skills - some of his fielding is electric, and people still talk about his catch in the Twenty20 Cup quarter-final against Middlesex in 2008.


He is better known for his batting, with the ability to score runs all around the wicket and a particularly sensational off-drive, but has also had his bowling responsibility increased at franchise level and will play as an all-rounder. He is quick and agile in the field and can be trusted to prowl any region.


Posted by anccricket on October 31, 2008 at 3:21 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Herschelle Herman Gibbs


Born February 23, 1974, Green Point, Cape Town, Cape Province


Major teams South Africa, Cape Cobras, Deccan Chargers, Glamorgan, Northern Districts, Western Province, Yorkshire


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm bowler

Herschelle Herman Gibbs

Herschelle Gibbs, who once owned up, with perverse pride, to never having read a book, has essayed enough incendiary innings to fill a fat volume and, in the field, cut down many a batsman with all the electric grace of an enraged poet. Though he might not bother with many more words than yes, no, wait, and mine, Gibbs inspires superlatives from those who marvel at his appetite for the spectacular. Ordinary he is not.


Gibbs has played some of the most outrageous strokes yet seen. How many other batsmen practice, seriously, cutting fast bowlers for six? Or drive throat balls down the ground? Or make pulling off the front foot look everyday? That goes for whether he is batting in the middle of the order or at the top, and whether the ball is old or new. Gibbs has put all that together so many times that he can't be accused of being some charlatan who deals in fluke and luck.


He did so in the grandest of manner at the Wanderers in 2006 to score 175 off 111 balls and help South Africa clinch a one-day series against Australia. The battleground scenes of this extraordinary match, that delivered totals of 434 for four and 438 for nine, swirled all about. But Gibbs batted with the glee of a teenager armed with his father's credit card in a strip club. Pressure? That's what other people feel.


When South Africans wondered who would replace Jonty Rhodes as a fielder of the most predatory type, Gibbs answered the call.


However, not all of the superlatives attached to him are positive, for when too much talent trips over itself, demons often also lurk. Alas, so it is with Gibbs. He is perhaps as gifted as any sportsman can be. He is also as poorly equipped for the trials of daily life as any human being can safely be. Dark tales of marijuana smoking, drunk driving and match-fixing have blotted his career. Gibbs is about as close as cricket has come to producing a punk rocker, a figure who veers too close to self-destruction too often for the likes of those who prefer their cricketers unblemished by the real world.


They can rest assured, because Gibbs' time at the top is nearing its end. A first-class career that began when he was just 16 is now into its 20th summer. As his 40s loom, he may even pick up a book or two.


Posted by anccricket on October 31, 2008 at 3:17 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Charl Kenneth Langeveldt


Born December 17, 1974, Stellenbosch, Cape Province


Major teams South Africa, Boland, Border, Cape Cobras, Derbyshire, Kent, Kolkata Knight Riders, Leicestershire, Lions, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Somerset, South Africa A


Playing role Bowler


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium

Charl Kenneth Langeveldt

For much of the early part of his career, Charl Langeveldt combined his first-class cricket with his job as a prison warder at Drakenstein prison, not far from the headquarters of Boland cricket, his provincial home, a short drive north of Cape Town. Langeveldt first came to prominence with his ability to swing the ball at genuine pace, and further work on his action in recent seasons allowed him to generate even more movement, bringing him to the attention of the national selectors. He made his one-day international debut against Kenya in Kimberley in 2001-02, taking two top-order wickets. He followed that with career-best figures of 4 for 21 when the two sides met for a second time at Newlands shortly afterwards. Langeveldt was included in South Africa's 15-man squad for their ill-starred World Cup campaign in 2003, playing only in the pool match against Kenya. He returned to favour when South Africa experienced a dramatic slump in the middle of 2004, taking 3 for 31 in Sri Lanka and then, in perhaps his most impressive spell so far, 3 for 17 against Bangladesh in the ICC Champions Trophy.


He returned in style again against England at Newlands in 2004-05, breaking his hand batting on his return but taking 5 for 46. It was enough to win him selection for the series in the Caribbean which followed. It was in this series that Langeveldt came into his own. In the third one-day match in Barbados, he produced one of the most sensational finales in one-day international history, plucking a hat-trick out of thin air to steal a one-run victory over West Indies and giving his team a series victory. After a disappointing tour of India and Australia, Langeveldt did not play against Australia at home. He was recalled for the Champions Trophy, however, after some impressive domestic performances. Looked well below par in back-to-back ODI series appearances against India and Pakistan at home, but was included in South Africa's 15-man squad for the World Cup. With memories of his previous success in West Indies, Langeveldt enjoyed a successful tournament with his brand of late reverse swing being particularly effective. He finished as the team's joint leading wicket-taker but will continue to face stiff competition from the array of pace bowling options around him. In March 2008 Langeveldt, absent from the Test side since early 2006, opted out of a three-Test series in India, upset by the controversy surrounding his selection for the tour to India. His inclusion ahead of Andre Nel was seen by many as pandering to Cricket South Africa's transformation policy. In April 2008, he signed a two-year contract with Derbyshire as a Kolpak player and the doubts over his international future increased after this decision. The following year, the Kolkata Knight Riders came calling with an IPL contract but, rather strangely, he was benched till their final match where he performed creditably.