Johannesburg, March 4: Cricket South Africa on Saturday added five new players, including all-rounder Chris Morris and leg-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, to their national contracts while omitting the duo of pacer Kyle Abbot and opener Rilee Rossouw, who opted to sign Kolpak agreements with English county side Hampshire earlier in the year.
Besides, Morris and Shamshi, the other three players to be awarded central contracts for the first time are Stephen Cook, Keshav Maharaj and Andile Phehlukwayo while wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock and pace sensation Kagiso Rabada were awarded multi-year contracts, the duration of which was however, not revealed.
"With a busy season ahead of us which also means heavier workloads on players, we decided to increase the number of men's national contracts from 18 to 21.
"We also needed to recognise that certain players are specialists in certain formats of the game," CSA Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said in a statement.
On de Kock and Rabada's multi-year contracts, Lorgat said: "We are fortunate to have transitioned successfully and we now boast a strong squad made up of young and experienced world class stars."
The CSA also approved the 14 contracted Proteas women's players for 2017-18.
"Congratulations to opening bat Laura Wolvaardt who is the only newcomer to our women's squad and to both Sune Luus and Ayabonga Khaka who have been promoted to the top tier," Lorgat said.
CSA central contracts:
Men: Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Farhaan Behardien, Stephen Cook, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Imran Tahir, Keshav Maharaj, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Andile Phehlukwayo, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn.
Women: Dané van Niekerk, Ayabonga Khaka, Suné Luus, Marizanne Kapp, Mignon du Preez, Shabnim Ismail, Trisha Chetty, Chloe Tryon, Lizelle Lee, Matshipi Marcia Letsoalo, Laura Wolvaardt, Masabata Klaas, Andrie Steyn, Moseline Daniels