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Proteas will add fizz to domestic competitions

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Cricket SA is relying on the nationally contracted players to make the two domestic competitions more attractive.

South African batsman Reeza Hendricks is just one of the Proteas players who will bolster the Lions batting line-up this season. Picture: Phando Jikelo, African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG – As a means to fill the gap in the local calendar left by Australia’s absence, Cricket SA is relying on the nationally contracted players to make the two domestic competitions more attractive.

All the nationally contracted players bar Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis, were named in squads for the CSA T20 Challenge on Monday.

But more than just sexing up the domestic game, the T20 Challenge and the Four-Day Challenge, provides players with an opportunity to impress the national selectors, with negotiations for national contracts set to take place after the local season ends.

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“It’s open season,” said CSA’s Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith. “We’ve got players who’ve put in some good performances. Around the contracts and the national teams there’s a lot of places up for grabs, there should be a lot of competition in the T20 and in the four-day game.”

Cricket SA currently contracts 17 players for the national side, some for two years, others for one.

“We are going into the contracting season now, with 17 contracted players. It’s an important time for selectors and management to get their strategies right and identify who are the right people with whom to move forward,” Smith said.

“What I want to see is people performing. We’ve carried huge squads this season because of Covid, a lot of people have tasted being in and around the national team.

“We had around 40 players in Pakistan between the Test and T20 squads. My goal for the next few months is for players to step up and to see who performs.”

Smith said from a national players perspective, the nature of creating bio-secure environments had made for different kinds of pressure.

“Everyone from a playing perspective has been really positive that they want to play, they want to push for places. It’s a challenging space for players. Some guys have only played seven international games, in the entire season, so the work load from a playing perspective hasn’t been there. It’s more managing the Covid stresses, life is different in a bubble.”

The domestic T20 tournament, which will be played in a bio-secure environment in Durban starting on Friday, will be broadcast on SuperSport, while the Four-Day series will also be shown on the pay channel with some games also being streamed.

CSA T20 Challenge Squads:

Lions: Temba Bavuma (capt), Reeza Hendricks, Dwaine Pretorius, Delano Potgieter, Beuran Hendricks, Wiaan Mulder, Lutho Sipamla, Bjorn Fortuin, Ryan Rickelton, Sisanda Magala, Malusi Siboto, Eldred Hawken, Kagiso Rabada, Rassie van der Dussen, Aaron Phangiso, Ruan Haanbroek.

Dolphins: Keshav Maharaj (capt), Sarel Erwee, Khaya Zondo, Kerwin Mungroo, Robbie Frylinck, Keegan Petersen, Grant Roelofsen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Ruan de Swardt, Daryn Dupavillon, Mangaliso Mosehle, Senuran Muthusamy, Prenelan Subrayen, Eathan Bosch, Ottneil Baartman.

Titans: Heinrich Klaasen (capt), Theunis de Bruyn, Grant Thomson, Henry Davids, Chris Morris, Sibonelo Makhanya, Dayyaan Galiem, Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Junior Dala, Okuhle Cele, Simon Harmer, Tabraiz Shamsi, Gregory Mahlokwana, Lungi Ngidi, Lizaad Williams.

Cape Cobras: Tony de Zorzi (capt), Calvin Savage, Christiaan Jonker, Corbin Bosch, George Linde, Hlomla Hanabe, Imraan Manack, Janneman Malan, Jason Smith, Kyle Verreynne, Nandre Burger, Onke Nyaku, Siyabonga Mahima, Tshepo Moreki, Ziyaad Abrahams, Zubayr Hamza.

Knights: Pite van Biljon (capt), Mbulelo Budaza, Jacques Snyman, Andries Gouws, Gerald Coetzee, Patrick Kruger, Shaun von Berg, Grant Mokoena, Farhaan Berhardien, Alfred Mothoa, Ferisco Adams, Wandile Makwetu, Raynard van Tonder, Matthew Kleinveldt, Jonathan Vandiar, Migael Pretorius.

Warriors: Sinethemba Qeshile (capt), Gihahn Cloete, Jon-Jon Smuts, Wihan Lubbe, Lesiba Nqoepe, Marco Marais, Ayabulela Gqamane, Marco Jansen, Glenton Stuurman, Anrich Nortje, Tshepo Ntuli, Mthiwekaya Nabe, Stefan Tait, Lizo Makosi, Triston Stubbs, Jade de Klerk.

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