Coach Rob Walter has decided to reward the form of players excelling for Northerns and Easterns in the CSA Provincial Three-Day Competition, with Theunis de Bruyn, Ernest Kemm, Shershan Naidoo, Cobus Pienaar and Grant Thomson all included in the squad of 13 named yesterday.
This obviously means that some regular players will be missing out on the last game of the season, most notably the Titans’ leading run-scorer, Roelof van der Merwe and JP de Villiers, while Heino Kuhn, named as the franchise’s Player of the Year on Tuesday night, has been included in the squad but could well be rested from the starting XI.
“We want to give the guys who have performed at amateur level an opportunity, even though it means guys who deserve to play like Roelof and JP miss out, but we need to look at our options for next season. We need to acknowledge some of the performances that have been put in at that level,” Walter told The Pretoria News yesterday.
Thomson, the 26-year-old Easterns all-rounder, tops the averages in the CSA Provincial Three-Day Competition with 799 runs at 61.46, while he has also picked up 26 wickets with his seamers.
Naidoo, a 24-year-old from Pretoria Boys’ High and Tukkies, has earned his call-up through sheer consistency, scoring 675 runs with seven half-centuries and a hundred.
Easterns opener Ernest Kemm made his debut for the Titans last weekend, scoring just 3 and 8, but he has made three centuries this season at the amateur level and clearly deserves another chance as a future prospect.
Theunis de Bruyn and Cobus Pienaar have both shone for the Titans earlier this season and thoroughly deserve their recalls as they will clearly play a part next season.
Walter said his side will go in with an extra batting option against the Warriors because “it’s important when you have younger guys up front that there is some stability and depth”.
The coach said although the Warriors are also bringing a new-look team to Centurion, he was wary of their attack featuring Andrew Birch, Basheer Walters and new captain, off-spinner Simon Harmer, who have taken 84 wickets between them.
Although Colin Ingram and Davey Jacobs are both out injured and Ashwell Prince has retired, the Warriors batsmen are also not to be underestimated; when the Titans played them in Port Elizabeth just before Christmas, Michael Price scored 181 and Colin Ackermann 110 as they amassed a match-winning 502 for five declared.
Squad: Ernest Kemm, Theunis de Bruyn, Cobus Pienaar, Henry Davids, Qaasim Adams, Grant Thomson, David Wiese, Mangaliso Mosehle, Shaun von Berg, Marchant de Lange, Junior Dala, Shershan Naidoo, Heino Kuhn.