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Rudolph returns to Proteas fold

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011

Jacques Rudolph

Jacques Rudolph's decision to return to South Africa has led to a place for him in their preliminary World Cup squad of 30

Jacques Rudolph has been named in South Africa’s preliminary 30-man squad for next year’s World Cup.

Rudolph last represented his country in 2006 and has since represented Yorkshire as a Kolpak player, but the opening batsman, who was released from the final year of his contract to return to his native country, will no longer be eligible for Kolpak status.

Former Northamptonshire star Johan van der Wath also looks set to relinquish his Kolpak status after being named in the squad.

Uncapped quartet Jonathan Vandiar, Francois du Plessis, Dean Elgar and Ethy Mbhalati have also been called up.

Former Lancashire star du Plessis had already lost his Kolpak position after changes to the eligibility criteria.

Veteran gloveman Mark Boucher is also named despite his recent omission from the one-day set-up.

From the uncapped players, all-rounder du Plessis ended top of the batting charts in the last domestic 40-over competition where his side the Titans were beaten in the final.

The former Lancashire player scored 567 runs, including three centuries, while he also took 10 wickets.

Convener of selectors Andrew Hudson said: "We indicated at the start of the season that we would reward players who performed well in domestic cricket.

"There have been some highly impressive performances in the MTN40 and this has opened the door of opportunity for the likes of Francois du Plessis, Jonathan Vandiar, Ethy Mbhalati and Morne van Wyk among others."

All preliminary squads need to be named by the end of this week with the final 15-man lists due by January 19.

South Africa are in Group B for the World Cup on the sub-continent, alongside Bangladesh, England, India, West Indies, Ireland and the Netherlands.

South Africa World Cup squad: Graeme Smith (captain), Hashim Amla, Johan Botha, Loots Bosman, Mark Boucher, JP Duminy, Dean Elgar, Heino Kuhn, Colin Ingram, Jacques Kallis, Charl Langeveldt, Ethy Mbhalati, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Francois Du Plessis, Jacques Rudolph, Dale Steyn, Rusty Theron, Thami Tsolekile, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Jonathan Vandiar, AB de Villiers, Roelof van der Merwe, Johannes van der Wath, Morne van Wyk.

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