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Ken Borland

SA20 a ray of hope for cricket coffers & a great platform for these players

Posted on November 01, 2022 by Ken

The SA20 is meant to be a ray of hope for the embattled coffers of South African cricket, but it is also going to provide a global platform for local players to display their talents and hopefully further their careers.

The good news for the country’s best T20 players is that the competition for their signatures is expected to be most fierce in Monday’s auction in Cape Town, which should drive up prices. It has been noticeable how, due to the weakness of the rand, overseas players’ reserve prices are much higher, meaning in many cases, South African players represent better value.

“You play half your matches at home, so that has a big impact,” Sunrisers Eastern Cape coach Adrian Birrell said. “You need to get the right players for the right venue, and we’ll be trying the best we can to buy for St George’s Park, players who have done well there. I’m sure the Wanderers and SuperSport Park will do the same thing.

“The opportunity to go for one or two big South African players we would like to have is why we did not spend up front and have only pre-signed Aiden Markram and Ottneil Baartman.

“I think us and the Pretoria franchise [who have just pre-signed Anrich Nortje and Migael Pretorius] have the most money. You can strategise well with that extra money and we have a good chance of getting the players we want,” Birrell said.

So what good-value buys should the six franchises be targeting as they look to spend what is remaining of their R34 million budget to fill all 17 spots on their playing rosters? Ten of those places must go to South Africans.

Daryn Dupavillon

All six franchises will have their eyes on people who can bowl flat-out fast. While Nortje and Kagiso Rabada have been pre-signed, and competition will be intense for Marco Jansen, KZN Dolphins star Dupavillon represents good value. Arguably the fastest bowler in South Africa, his sheer pace will bring plenty of heat to opposition batsmen and test their ability to choose and execute the correct stroke in a split-second.

Dwaine Pretorius

The 33-year-old provides an ideal T20 package as an experienced all-rounder. As a bowler, he can bowl up front with swing, in the middle overs with cutters or at the death with his wide yorkers. And as a batsman, he is a power-hitter and can hit boundaries from ball one, which is crucial for that role.

Lungi Ngidi

Unburdened by injury, Ngidi has been in superb form for the Proteas, having the batsmen in chains in the opening overs. He will be even more dangerous in South Africa, where his steepling bounce from a good length comes into play, while his clever slower balls will still be effective.

Tabraiz Shamsi

Shamsi’s brilliance as a white-ball bowler, one of the best in the world, should be recognised and Sunrisers Eastern Cape could make a big move for him, thanks to his excellent record at St George’s Park – in 14 T20s there he has taken 19 wickets and concedes just 6.74 runs-per-over. Pretoria Capitals could get involved in a bidding war though to get him back to his current home ground.

Tristan Stubbs

This 22-year-old is so exciting, people are now going to matches just to watch him bat. Sunrisers Eastern Cape no doubt want him to play at his home ground, but every single franchise is going to be after his services. He has taken to international cricket with aplomb, showing his ability to clear the boundary and also keep his run-rate high with ones and twos.

Reeza Hendricks

In magnificent form at the moment and marvellous to watch when in full flight, Hendricks scored back-to-back centuries in the 2018 Mzansi Super League. He’s probably a better batsman now and most of the franchises will be thinking long and hard about getting him in at the top of the order.

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