Graeme Smith Ruled Out Of West Indies Tour Openers

Graeme Smith has been withdrawn from both the Makhaya Ntini benefit match as well as the first Standard Bank International Pro20 match against the West Indies on medical advice. The benefit match, also against the West Indies, takes place at East London’s Buffalo Park ground on Friday, December 14, and the Pro20 match, at Sahara Oval, St. George’s, is on Sunday, December 16. “The decision has been taken purely on medical grounds,” said Proteas coach Mickey Arthur. “His doctors feel that rest and recuperation is the way for him to go and they have recommended that he takes three weeks’ off. They are confident that he will be ready for the first Castle Test against the West Indies starting on December 26. “Shaun Pollock has accepted the captaincy for the Standard Bank International Pro20,” he added. As previously announced, Morne van Wyk fills the batting vacancy at the top of the order. Proteas XI: Morne van Wyk, Herschelle Gibbs, JP Duminy, AB de Villiers, Gulam Bodi, Shaun Pollock (captain), Vernon Philander, Albie Morkel, Johan Botha, Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini. © Cricket South Africa