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Cricket South Africa have named four newcomers in their list of contracted players for the next season.

The newcomers - Nashua Cape Cobras batsman JP Duminy, Nashua Titans spin bowler Paul Harris, Chevrolet Warriors all-rounder Johan Botha and Nashua Titans fast bowler Morne Morkel are all expected to play a major role in the team's fortunes over the coming 12 months.

All four have established themselves as regular choices for the Proteas over the past 12 months either in the Castle Test squad or the Standard Bank ODI squad and in some cases in both.

The quartet takes the places of Nashua Dolphins all-rounder Shaun Pollock and Gestetner Diamond Eagles batsman Boeta Dippenaar and Andrew Hall, who have all announced their retirement from international cricket, and Nashua Cape Cobras all-rounder Justin Kemp.

The contracts run from May 1, 2008, and April 30, 2009.

Cricket South Africa chief executive Gerald Majola commented: "The Proteas contracted players' list without the name Shaun Pollock on it is something of a shock to all of us and it certainly marks the end of a remarkable career.

"As they said of Adam Gilchrist, Polly in your team meant that you had 12 players on the field and South African cricket will miss him enormously.

"We have also lost two other players to international cricket retirement in Boeta Dippenaar and Andrew Hall, and Justin Kemp is no longer contracted to the Proteas.

"This means we have had to replace four senior players and this is no easy task.

"However, we have been most encouraged by the ability of CSA's franchise and high performance systems to produce young cricketers who can perform successfully at the highest level.

"Dale Steyn, Paul Harris, JP Duminy and Morne Morkel spring immediately to mind, with the latter three now being added with Johan Botha to the Proteas contracted list.

"It is also encouraging that we now have two spinners on board, and this has given us that added variety that we lacked in the recent past.

"The Proteas' contracted squad of 15 has a very settled look about it, with several senior players of world class there to help the youngsters realise their full potential.

"There are also a number of other young players who were unlucky not to make the 15-strong cut for contracts.

"But they are knocking loudly on the selectors' door, and provide excellent back up if there is a loss of form or injury to the established players."

"The Proteas face a tough and exciting touring season, including the likes of India, England and Australia. CSA has done everything in its power to ensure that they are ready to overcome the challenges that lie ahead."

Harris was first capped for the Proteas in the Castle Test series against India in the 2006/07 season and has been a regular choice ever since, taking 30 wickets in his first 10 matches.

He claimed his first five-wicket haul in the Test victory over Pakistan at Karachi last year.

Duminy has been a regular member of the Standard Bank ODI squad throughout the summer and was also a member of the Castle Test squad that toured Pakistan.

He has averaged more than 150 in the first three matches of the current MTN ODI series against the West Indies.

Botha is the Proteas first-choice spinner in the Standard Bank ODI squad and has developed into a useful all-rounder, making key contributions with the bat and in the field as well.

Morkel made his Castle Test debut against India during the 2006-07 season and then confirmed his quality with an excellent ODI series in the Africa-Asia series in India.

Injuries disrupted his tour of Pakistan as well as his availability for the home series against New Zealand but he is an established member of both the Castle Test and Standard Bank ODI squads.

The contracted squad is: Hashim Amla (Nashua Dolphins), Johan Botha (Chevrolet Warriors), Mark Boucher (Nashua Cape Cobras), AB de Villiers (Nashua Titans), JP Duminy (Nashua Cape Cobras), Herschelle Gibbs (Nashua Cape Cobras), Paul Harris (Nashua Titans), Jacques Kallis (Nashua Cape Cobras), Charl Langeveldt (Nashua Cape Cobras), Morne Morkel (Nashua Titans), Andre Nel (Nashua Titans), Makhaya Ntini (Chevrolet Warriors), Ashwell Prince (Nashua Cape Cobras), Graeme Smith (Nashua Cape Cobras), Dale Steyn (Nashua Titans).
 
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