South Africa recall spinner Harmer for New Zealand series
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Off-spin bowler Simon Harmer was on Wednesday named in the South African squad for two Test matches in New Zealand next month, ending a six-year absence from the national team.
The 32-year-old played the most recent of his five Tests against India in November 2015 before signing a Kolpak contract with English county Essex.
He has been a prolific wicket-taker for Essex and was named a Wisden cricketer of the year in 2020.
Playing for the Titans, he has taken 27 wickets in five matches in the current four-day competition.
He is second on the wicket-taker's list to another former Kolpak player, fast bowler Duanne Olivier, who played in both South Africa's recent Test wins against India at home.
With the exception of Quinton de Kock, who retired from Test cricket after the first Test against India, all the players who appeared in the series will tour New Zealand in a 17-man squad.
Fast bowler Lutho Sipamla, who played in two Tests against Sri Lanka last season, also makes a return to the national squad.
Three uncapped players, who were part of the squad for the India series, will also be on the tour -– batsmen Sarel Erwee and Ryan Rickelton and seam bowler Glenton Stuurman.
The South African party will depart on February 2.
Both Tests will be played at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch to minimise risks of the squad contracting Covid-19.
The first Test starts on February 17 and the second on February 25.
Dean Elgar (capt), Temba Bavuma, Sarel Erwee, Simon Harmer, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Duanne Olivier, Keegan Petersen, Kagiso Rabada, Ryan Rickelton, Lutho Sipamla, Glenton Stuurman, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne (wkt).