Proteas leave out Morkel

JOHANNESBURG: South Africa left out fast bowler Morne Morkel today when they announced a 15-man squad for next month's ICC Champions Trophy to be played in South Africa.

Morkel paid the price for inconsistent performances last season. While Morkel missed out, left-arm paceman Lonwabo Tsotsobe returned to the national team for the first time since undergoing a cartilage operation on his right knee in March.

Tsotsobe, 25, joined Wayne Parnell, 20, as one of two promising left-arm pace bowlers in the squad. Parnell was one of the outstanding performers in the World Twenty20 in England in June. Left-arm spin bowler Robin Peterson also gained a recall.

"There were some difficult choices to make," said selection convener Mike Procter. "At the moment South African cricket is blessed with an abundance of fast bowling talent with the emergence of Tsotsobe and Parnell as outstanding new prospects and Charl Langeveldt becoming available again. Langeveldt is not fit enough yet to be considered and Morne Morkel is the unlucky one to miss out. He is very much part of our long-term planning and has a major role to play but we would like to see more consistency from him at this stage," said Procter.

The Champions Trophy will be played at two venues, Centurion and Johannesburg, from September 22 to October 5.