McKenzie to use Wisden honour for return to South African team

April 4th, 2009 - 5:01 pm ICT by IANS  

By Fakir Hassen
Johannesburg, April 4 (IANS) South African cricketer Neil McKenzie, one of the three players from the country named among the five Wisden players of the year, will use the accolade to win back his place in the national team.

McKenzie was dropped from the squad despite lining up the runs last year against India, Bangladesh and England after he struggled during the home and away series against Australia.

McKenzie, Mark Boucher and Dale Benkenstein were the three South Africans named Players of the Year together with James Anderson and Claire Taylor of England, the latter becoming the first woman to achieve the honour from the English Wisden cricket yearbook for her batting which helped her side win the World Cup for women.

“This honour just makes me more determined to win back my place in the Proteas side,” McKenzie told the Afrikaans daily Beeld here.

“I’m a little tired after a long season, but I’m going to do some tweaking so that I can line up the runs to be considered again.”

Boucher, the wicketkeeper with the national record for the most victims in Tests and several other records, was happy for his colleagues: “I am as happy that Neil McKenzie was selected as I am about my own inclusion. People don’t realise what a huge contribution he has made on and off the field.

“We are equally happy for Benky (Benkenstein). It is a great testimonial for South African cricket to have three players on the list.”

Benkenstein, who last played cricket for South Africa seven years ago, was named for his performance over several seasons for the English county side Durham, including his role in making them English champions last year for the first time.

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