Dale Steyn is the notable omission in the central contract list released by Cricket South Africa for the 2020-21 season while former skipper Faf du Plessis has been re-contracted by the Proteas.
The 36-year-old made a much-anticipated return to national colours after failing to get a game in the 2019 World Cup owing to his troubles with a long-standing right shoulder injury.
He officially bowed out of Test cricket in August 2019 but made himself available for the white-ball formats, though he was overlooked for selection for the T20I assignment in India later that year.
South Africa have also excluded the retired duo of Hashim Amla and Vernon Philander from the contract list whereas Theunis de Bruyn has been axed due to his poor run at the highest level.
On the other hand, Anrich Nortje, Dwaine Pretorius and Rassie van der Dussen have earned contract upgrades following their consistent performances across all forms of the game.
Beuran Hendricks has been rewarded for his profitable Test debut against England, where he picked five wickets, by getting his maiden national contract.
"The upgrade system will again be in place this year. Those players performing and selected for the Proteas during the 2020/21 season and who are not contracted can qualify for a National Contract upgrade," the CSA media release stated.
Du Plessis has retained a spot among the contracts despite stepping down from his role as the captain of the team. The veteran batsman has devoted himself to shouldering the burden alongside new skipper Quinton de Kock, announcing his desire to represent South Africa in all three formats till his fitness permits.
“We have contracted 16 men’s players and 14 women’s players which we feel is the appropriate number to maintain our national squads across the various formats,” CSA Acting Chief Executive Dr. Jacques Faul noted.
“This enables us to contract both our Test players as well as those who are limited-overs specialists. We have decided to keep the 17th men’s contract open for the moment and players can qualify for it through performance.”
Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen
Trisha Chetty, Nadine de Klerk, Mignon du Preez, Shabnim Ismail, Sinalo Jafta, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Lizelle Lee, Sune Luus, Tumi Sekhukhune, Chloe Tryon, Dane van Niekerk, Laura Wolvaardt