NEWLANDS – Cricket South Africa (CSA) have announced their squads for the inbound tour against India this holiday season with five Western Province men’s players rewarded with call-ups.

Western Province all-rounder Mihlali Mpongwana (ODI), fast bowler Nandre Burger (ODI,T20,Test), middle order batsman David Bedingham (Test), Captain Kyle verreynne (ODI-Test) and opening batsman Tony De Zorzi (ODI-Test) have all been rewarded after consistent performances throughout the 23/24 season.

The 23-year-old all-rounder Mihlali Mpongwana after a stellar man of the match performance in this year’s CSA One Day Cup final blasting a maiden List A 100 and claiming 3/32 receives a call up to the ODI squad. The lanky all-rounder from Nyanga, Cape Town did not expect a call up so soon in his career.

“My maiden call-up to the Proteas, I am excited, and I would say nervous as well. But to be honest it’s surreal. Those are the words that can explain how I feel right now,” said Mpongwana

“I didn’t think that it would ever come this soon. When I look back, I didn’t think I’d be saying that in five years, I’ll potentially be making my debut or in the squad for the Proteas. It’s an amazing feeling”.

“It’s been a learning curve for me as a young player coming into the SA’A set up. The level and professionalism are much closer to international standard. It’s also good preparation for me going into the India series.”

Fast bowler Nandre Burger who was part of the 2022 touring squad to Pakistan sees himself once again in the national set up. A string of injuries over the past two seasons has delayed Burgers inevitable inclusion into the Proteas teams. But after stellar performances with Western Province and Joburg Super Kings in the Betway SA20 selectors could no longer ignore the paceman.

“It’s a massive honour and privilege. I’m looking forward to what I can learn and bring to that environment. I feel like as a cricketer you always dream about playing for the proteas,” said Burger.

“I think I care about Western Province, and I want Western Province to win, so that’s the mindset I will go with into the national set up, wanting the proteas to win. Being rewarded is a privilege and an honour.

“Obviously I’ve had a couple of injuries in the last two, three seasons. I don’t think there’s a secret. I think it’s just hard work and I’m trying to stay true to myself and do what I think I can do.”

Another inclusion into the national squads is David Bedingham. The right hand hard hitting middle order batsman received his maiden call up to the Test squad. Bedingham who has been involved with Durham CCC in the United Kingdom has been one of the standout performers for the club as well as Province maintaining a first-class average of 50.21. Coming back from the UK he showed his dominance with two 50+ scores and 100 in this year’s CSA One Day Cup.

“I can’t take the smile off my face, humbled and truly grateful for the opportunity and can’t wait to get started. To be honest, absolutely not situations and circumstances change quickly and am thankful once again for the chance to be involved, said Bedingham.

“I think since my accident I’ve always told myself to play with a smile on my face and really enjoy every moment so yeah having fun has been the reason for my success. Exactly the same as what I’ve tried to do for the past four years, have fun, hopefully smack a couple of 4s and 6s and truly enjoy the whole experience.”

Captain Kyle Verreynne and opening batsman Tony De Zorzi have been called up once again after dominating the runs charts during the course of the season. De Zorzi who made his Test and ODI debut as well as captained the SA’A side on their tour to Sri Lanka earlier this year retains his position in the ODI and Test squads. Verreynne who was a noticeable omission in the squads who took on the West Indies earlier this year has done nothing more than break down the door to find his way back into the Test and ODI squad.

Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) has congratulated the five players after being called up.

Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) President Johannes Adams commented: “We as Western Province are very proud of our boy’s achievements, and we’re very happy that the selection is based on performance. So, us being the only unbeaten team in the 50-over format proved that it was factored into selection,” he said.

“So, we’re very proud of our boys and especially Mihlali Mpongwana, David Bedingham and Nandre Burger who received maiden call ups. And we hope that the three of them will enjoy the experience and start to establish themselves within the Proteas setup.”

The multi-format encounter between India and the Proteas is set to take place from the 10th of December to the 7th of January across multiple venues. It features three KFC T20 Internationals (T20Is), three Betway One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and two Betway Tests.

Newlands Cricket Stadium will host the New Year’s Test from 03 January – to 07 January 2024.