Gibbs makes way for Amla in SA squad
Hashim Amla, who made his debut in India in 2005, is expected to replace Gibbs, who has been dropped after some dismal turnouts in recent games.india Updated: Apr 25, 2006 11:01 IST
The surprise axing of opener Herschelle Gibbs from the South African cricket squad has paved the way for the country's first Indian origin player to make it back onto the team.
Hashim Amla, who made his debut in India in 2005, is expected to replace Gibbs, who has been dropped after some of his most dismal turnouts in an eight-year career in recent games.
Gibbs, who is still wanted for questioning in India for his role in the 2000 match fixing saga that saw the fall from grace of now deceased captain Hansie Cronje, was the first victim of a threat to act against non-performers.
Haroon Lorgat, the convener of selectors, earlier warned that players who were not living up expectations would lose their places on the team.
"The days of losing for the South African team are over," Lorgat warned last Friday.
"It doesn't matter who doesn't perform, big names or not, I told them that they would be left out of the team if they don't play their part."
Despite a chequered career which saw him serve out a six-month suspension in the wake of the match fixing saga and later involvement in a hashish smoking incident in the West Indies with other players, Gibbs was a hero recently after he hit 175 off 111 balls in a one-day game against the visiting Australian side to help the hosts win the game.
But poor performance in Test matches, where it was clear that Gibbs had lost his confidence, led to him being dropped.
Lorgat also hinted at former captain Shaun Pollock having to improve his performance. "(The selectors) expected more of Pollock in the (first) Test against (visitors) New Zealand (last week)."
But Lorgat conceded that Pollock continued to play a very important role in the side.
Amla has been one of the top performers in provincial cricket in the past season.