Having made their debuts in 2017, both Aiden Markram and Lungi Ngidi has been given central contracts by Cricket South Africa on Thursday ( March 8). The list of contracted cricketers for the 2018-19 season has been pruned to 18 after the board had made an exception to contract 21 cricketers last year.
"We made an exception last year in increasing the number of contracted players to 21 but this year we are comfortable that the normal standard number of 18 will be appropriate to maintain our national squads across all three formats," said CSA Acting Chief Executive, Thabang Moroe. This enables us to contract both our Test players as well as those who are limited overs specialists.
"Aiden and Lungi have both made an immediate impact on the international scene and this is a continuation of our policy of having a strong squad with a good mix of young and experienced world-class stars," Moroe added.
CSA decided to keep veteran fast bowler Dale Steyn on a central contract despite the injury-plagued seamer having played just four international games in two years and completed just two of them. JP Duminy, who announced his Test retirement last year, too stayed on the roster despite his own shaky position in the ODI setup due to a prolonged period of poor form.
Players like Stephen Cook, Wayne Parnell, Farhaan Behardien and Aaron Phangiso and lead pacer Morne Morkel are out of the contract now.