Offspinner Johan Botha has received official notice that he is not part of South Africa's plans for the Test series against Sri Lanka. He has been released for two and a half weeks to play for Adelaide Strikers in Australia's Big Bash League, and been asked to return to South Africa in time for the ODI series against Sri Lanka, which starts on January 11.
"Right now, we would not need his services in Test cricket," Andrew Hudson, the national convenor of selectors, told ESPNcricinfo. "I wouldn't rule him out totally, but we are comfortable to release him for this period. I'd say that if we need him, something drastic would have to happen to the other guys."
South Africa's first-choice Test spinner is Pakistan-born Imran Tahir, who made his debut against Australia in November. Left-arm spinner Paul Harris is the official back-up, having been included in the squad against Australia, although he did not play a match. Harris was left out of the squad for the first Test against Sri Lanka, but is part of the SA Invitation XI that is playing a warm-up match against the visitors. Botha played five Tests for South Africa but is behind in the spin queue, which prompted his decision to take part in the BBL.