If Rondebosch Boys High is your alma mater, it comes with its fair share of expectations. Gary Kirsten and Joel Stransky plied their trade at this school. Kirsten smashed 21 test centuries and Stransky also played a few games for the first cricket team, but eventually opted for rugby.

Springbok supporters are grateful for that move, and who will forget that drop kick in the final of the Rugby World Cup in 1995 against New Zealand?

Dayyaan Galiem is from the same school and since the age of 17, his name has been on the lips of many cricket admirers. He also represented the South African U19 team.

His first-class record is impressive; he scored 296 runs in his first full season for the Western Province team, which included two half-centuries and an average of 32.88.

As a fast bowler, he possesses a rare trait, and arguably only James Anderson, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell and a few others can achieve that consistently. He swings it both ways through the air at about 130 km/h, and that swing is pronounced.

“And he causes batsmen quite some problems with that swing both ways,” says his Cobras team-mate Pieter Malan.

Galiem has had a few setbacks as lower leg injuries have halted his progress, but Malan, prodigious run-scorer for Western Province, reckons that Galiem, with the right conditioning and upper body strength training as well as understanding his action better, can add a few km/h to his pace.

“There is also no reason why he cannot score centuries regularly. He possesses the different shots. Dayyaan likes to get on with the game and attack,” he says.

Galiem can bat well in tandem with other middle-order batsmen, as he showed recently in a 101-run partnership against Border with Kyle Verreynne when the top-order collapsed and they had to rally. Galiem did not hang around, as he smashed his 38 off 45 balls with four fours and a six.

And he captured a career-best 8-83 in the same season against KwaZulu-Natal, an indication that the raw material is present and that Galiem can advance quickly.

Galiem did not look over-awed by the occasion, or unnerved by quality bowling when representing the Cape Cobras in the Momentum One Day Cup campaign. He struck an attractive 47-ball 41 against the VKB Knights and smashed 39 against the Multiply Titans. The powerful hitter assisted the Cape side in gaining some scoreboard respectability in losing causes.

The man who destroyed opposing teams with his swashbuckling batting and prodigious swing as a schoolboy, is capable of doing the same with the right nurturing, support cast and coaching at senior level. And at 20, he has time on his side.

Don’t expect a 10-wicket haul and a 200 overnight, but, then, who would have suspected that Kagiso Rabada would have taken 13-144 against England in 2015/2016 when he was still a South African greenhorn?

If you are bowling at the Cape Cobras’ acquisition and middle-order ace, Qaasim Adams, dibbly-dobblers might not be the right option, because you will suffer.

And if you don’t believe it, ask the useful attack of the bizhub Highveld Lions, who chased leather in February 2016 when Adams smashed 50 off only 21 balls with three fours and five sixes in a Momentum One Day Cup match at SuperSport Park. They made closer acquaintances with the fans who were often asked to assist with retrieving flying balls.

Adams hammered 226 runs at an average of 45.20 for the Titans in that season’s 50-over domestic showpiece.

In the same season, he managed 641 Sunfoil Series runs at an average of 58.27.

The left-handed batsman possesses the temperament, talent and the array of shots to suit all occasions.

When he had to defend dourly to save the four-day campaign in 2015/2016, he was the proverbial wall and Rahul Dravid would have been proud of his 474 minutes in the trenches while scoring 144 runs and only being dismissed once.

He is no longer merely a dasher, but almost a 360 degree player who can easily find the ropes at extra cover with the same elegance as which he clears cow corner.

Adams struck 433 runs for Northerns at an average of 114.66 last season in the Sunfoil Three-Day Cup.

Perhaps the past two seasons have seen the greatest advancement in Adams’s play. He has defended expertly, played sweetly in the V between mid-off and mid-on, and improved his temperament under the watchful eye of Rob Walters.

His average of 41.60 says much about his abilities, having struck 10 first-class centuries, and he credits Walters with his growth.

It was evident in the CSA T20 Cup in 2015/2016 when Northerns needed stability, steadiness and solidness against KZN. Adams, unnerved by the short-pitched bowling, was patient while the chin music was played and then advanced smartly to propel Northerns to the cup.

“One of my greatest aims is to contribute to the Cape Cobras winning the cup, wherever and whenever I am needed to play a role at number five or six. And if there is no place there, I am prepared to grow into another role and make my presence felt in that position,” says Adams.

The determination is clear. Adams is arguably one of the most evolved players in South African cricket and after four seasons at the Titans in which he worked meticulously to establish himself as a player who represented South Africa ‘A’ last season, expect him to make a statement of intent for the Cape Cobras in 2017/2018.

PROTEAS wicketkeeper-batsman, Quinton de Kock, leads the nominations for the 2016/17 Cricket South Africa (CSA) Awards.

The gala event to honour South Africa’s top performing cricketers over the past year will take place on 13 May 2017 at the Kyalami Theatre on the Track.
The CSA Awards Judging panel recently finalized the nominations list for the glittering occasion.

De Kock has been nominated in the following categories: SA Cricketer of the Year, Standard Bank Test Cricketer of the Year, and Standard Bank ODI Cricketer of the Year as well as the KFC Award of Excellence. In addition, he has secured his peers’ vote as SA Players’ Player of the Year and could be a contender for SA Fans’ Cricketer of the Year.

“It is my great pleasure and privilege to congratulate all the nominees as we celebrate a very successful year of superior achievement by our Proteas who had won all their Test series in the past 12 months on top of impressive 5-0 clean sweeps against both Australia and Sri Lanka in ODI cricket,” commented CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat. “And let us not forget to thank all those great and selfless people who work diligently behind the scenes to create opportunities for our leading cricketers to excel.

“Our country continues to produce world-class players. We only need reflect on the superb way in which Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada, Temba Bavuma and Keshav Maharaj have shone over the past year and who continue to grow alongside established greats like AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn.”

The CSA Awards Judging Panel consists of: Aslam Khota (Convener), Neil Manthorp, Victor Mpitsang, Robin Peterson, Shafiek Abrahams and Andrew Samson.
“As always, these awards are tough to judge due to the stiff nature of the competition,” commented Khota. “Our world-class senior players are well established and there is an encouraging number of international newcomers making their mark as well.

“The judging panel was impressed by the overall performances during the season of the nominees in the various categories,” Khota added.
Loyal Proteas fans can also have their say in the awards. The SA Fans Cricketer of the Year and the RAM Delivery of the Year require fans to vote for these respective awards. Further details of these awards and how the voting mechanism works can be found on CSA’s Social Media platforms as well as www.cricket.co.za

Fans also stand a chance of winning a trip to the CSA Awards.

The CSA Awards evening is the culmination of CSA Day which also sees the KFC CSA Amateur Awards breakfast taking place to be followed by the CSA Golf Day.

The CSA Awards Dinner will be televised live on SuperSport 2 from 20h00 while SABC 3 will show a highlights package at a later date.

SELECTED AWARDS NOMINATIONS

CSA UMPIRE OF THE YEAR
• Adrian Holdstock
• Shaun George
• Bongani Jele

AFRICA T20 CUP RISING STAR AWARD
• Patrick Kruger (Northern Cape)
• Solo Nqweni (Eastern Province)

DOMESTIC NEWCOMER OF THE SEASON
• Aiden Markram (Multiply Titans)
• Wiaan Mulder (bizhub Highveld Lions)
• Jason Smith (Cape Cobras)

MOMENTUM ONE-DAY CUP CRICKETER OF THE SEASON
• Junior Dala (Multiply Titans)
• Henry Davids (Multiply Titans)
• Jon-Jon Smuts (Warriors)
• Shaun von Berg (Multiply Titans)

CSA T20 CHALLENGE CRICKETER OF THE SEASON
• Farhaan Behardien (Multiply Titans)
• Andrew Birch (Warriors)
• Jon-Jon Smuts (Warriors)

SUNFOIL SERIES CRICKETER OF THE SEASON
• Theunis de Bruyn (VKB Knights)
• Duanne Olivier (VKB Knights)
• Shaun von Berg (Multiply Titans)
STANDARD BANK T20 INTERNATIONAL CRICKETER OF THE YEAR
• Lungi Ngidi
• Imran Tahir

STANDARD BANK ODI CRICKETER OF THE YEAR
• Quinton de Kock
• Faf du Plessis
• Imran Tahir

STANDARD BANK TEST CRICKETER OF THE YEAR
• Quinton de Kock
• Faf du Plessis
• Dean Elgar
• Kagiso Rabada
• Vernon Philander

KFC AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
• Temba Bavuma (run out of David Warner)
• Quinton de Kock (catch of Neil Broom)
• Quinton de Kock (catch of Nathan Lyon)
• Faf du Plessis (catch of Lahiru Madushanka)

RAM DELIVERY OF THE YEAR
• Vernon Philander (Adam Voges)
• Kagiso Rabada (Usman Khawaja)
• Imran Tahir (Dinesh Chandimal)

MOMENTUM WOMEN’S CRICKETER OF THE YEAR
• Ayabonga Khaka
• Sune Luus
• Dane van Niekerk

SA CRICKETER OF THE YEAR
• Quinton de Kock
• Faf du Plessis
• Kagiso Rabada
• Imran Tahir

The door has opened slightly with the departure of the decorated and nationally acclaimed wicketkeeper-batsman Dane Vilas. But the position has been filled promptly by a 19-year-old whose name might become synonymous with middle-order excellence in the not too distant future.

Differently stated, Kyle Verreynne has been honoured with a professional Cape Cobras contract for the 2017/2018-season after the former South African U19 player blossomed in his first full season in the CSA Three-day Provincial competition, scoring 691 runs at an average of 53.15.

That included an unbeaten 107 and a superb 98 in his final first-class game of the 2016/2017 season against KwaZulu-Natal Inland.

As a wicketkeeper, the former product of Wynberg Boys High School is comfortable standing back for the faster men or close to the crease when the wrist spinners operate. He makes sloppy throws look first-class and cleans up splendidly.

As a middle-order batsman, he personifies elegance, striking the ball through the covers with shots that is pure eye-candy for the spectators. He oozes the same class when driving it past the bowler.

“And he can hit a long ball,” says Salieg Nackerdien, coach of the Western Province team during the latter part of the 2016/2017 season.

“He possesses a good work ethic, is not lazy and he works well under Ezra Poole with his wicket-keeping.

“I do think he can still improve. Sometimes, he gets to the late 40’s and then might just lose focus and concentration momentarily and gift the opposition a wicket. He might have added four fifties this season to his tally. He might be a work in progress, but he is blessed with so much talent.

“I moved him up the order from six to five and that is where he struck that 98. One thing that impresses me is that he collects runs on both sides of the wicket. He can also rotate the strike to advance the game,” says Nackerdien.

In one-day cricket, Verreynne can easily move from fourth to fifth gear. In a recent match against Border at PPC Newlands, he joined forces with Dayyaan Galiem with Western Province tottering on the brink on 59 for five and 161 needed for a win.

Verreynne was the senior partner in the stand, striking 79 off 77 balls with 11 fours and two sixes to take Province to an attractive win.

Perhaps it should be reiterated that he is only 19, and that his youthful exuberance and fearless approach makes him a welcome addition to the exciting professional squad of the Cape Cobras for the 2017/2018-season.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Thursday announced the 12-man squad that will attend a spin bowlers camp to be held in India from 30 April to 7 May 2017. Eight promising spin bowlers and four specialist batsmen will travel to Mumbai to receive expert training on how to maximise their bowling skills and better face some of the world’s best spin attacks.

The list includes Standard Bank Proteas Dane Piedt and Theunis de Bruyn. Aiden Markram, Aviwe Mgijima, Jason Smith and Shaun von Berg are also included after they excelled for their respective franchises this season.

There are also the unfamiliar names of Tsepo Ndwandwa of the Fort Hare Academy and Khaudise Molefe of Jeppe Boys High on the list after they shone for their teams during the recently concluded 2016/17 term. The pair’s attendance is sponsored by the Global Cricket School and offers a valuable opportunity for them to be exposed to high level cricket in foreign conditions.

The group will be accompanied by coaches Shukri Conrad (South Africa A Head Coach), Lawrence Mahatlane (South Africa under-19s Head Coach) and Robin Peterson (Spin Bowling Consultant).

CSA High Performance Manager, Vincent Barnes, believes that this camp is a good opportunity for players to up their skills during the off-season period. This will also give them something to work on during the winter months, looking ahead to the new season.

“This camp has been an annual undertaking for the last six or seven years and has been of great benefit for many players over that period of time,” he said. “We’ve seen players such as Stiaan van Zyl, Dane Piedt, Eddie Leie, Temba Bavuma, David Miller and Mangaliso Mosehle attend the camp and return with really good feedback. Several players (like Piedt) requested to return to the camp in order to brush up on what they have learned and we have seen a remarkable improvement in many of their performances.

“At first, the camp was purely for spin bowlers, but we thought it was a good idea to include batsmen who would like to sharpen their skills against spinners. It’s worked brilliantly for our guys and every year the bar is set that much higher. We have another exciting group of players travelling this year and we’re looking forward to seeing the progress they make.”

Spinners
Kyle Simmonds (Cape Cobras), Dane Piedt (Cape Cobras), Tshepo Ntuli (VKB Knights), George Linde (Cape Cobras), Akhona Kula (VKB Knights), Shaun von Berg (Multiply Titans), Tsepo Ndwandwa (Fort Hare Academy), Khaudise Molefe (Jeppe Boys High).

Batsmen
Theunis de Bruyn (VKB Knights), Aiden Markram (Multiply Titans), Aviwe Mgijima (Cape Cobras), Jason Smith (Cape Cobras).

Coaches
Shukri Conrad (South Africa A Head Coach), Lawrence Mahatlane (South Africa U19s Head Coach), Robin Peterson (Spin Bowling Consultant).

South African cricket supporters might be hard-pressed to find an answer to the question as to who Neo Mlumbi is, even if they were allowed to phone a friend. But don’t despair. The answer will be on the tip of the tongue of most Cape Cobras supporters soon. Yes, his fame can spread fast as he attractively establishes his foot print with the blade as a member of the Western Province cricket team.

Mlumbi (21) has played in five first-class games, averaging 14.50 with his 47 against Easterns his finest contribution. He has produced glimpses of greatness the past two years.

The first time Clinton du Preez, amateur cricket manager of the Western Province Cricket Association, watched Mlumbi, was two years ago in a Township final between Langa and Mandalay at PPC Newlands.

Neo previously represented WP in the Youth “B” age group teams and was a member of the Mandalay CC.

“I liked the way he stroked the ball during that match, and went up to him afterwards and spoke to him,” Du Preez, who is an astute talent spotter, said. He was invited to trial at the WP provincial academy. The coaches enjoyed the player and added him to the squad for the 2016/17 season.

“During the pre-season, he represented the Western Province Cricket Academy against the Western Province senior team and struck a century which gave him and the coaches a lot of confidence,” reflected Du Preez.

“At the Western Province Academy he showed glimpses of good form and made his debut for the Western Province senior provincial team and made a score of 47.

Recently he participated at the national Colts week and was selected for the South African Colts team that participated in the CSA Future Cup.

“He is a very flexible player, who shows much skill in all areas with the bat around the crease and strikes the ball crisply. The upcoming winter requires that he makes the hard yards with his coaches and this will enhance his preparation for the ensuing season” he said.

“It would be far-fetched for me to say that Neo is the next Temba Bavuma, but I believe he can follow in his foot-steps,” Du Preez said when comparing Mlumbi to the South African middle-order batsmen who hammered his maiden test century in front of an ecstatic PPC Newlands crowd in January 2016.

“I discussed his future goals with him when meeting him this past week and he said his vision is to establish himself in the Cape Cobras side, possibly advance and hopefully get into the South Africa A squad,” Du Preez said.

If Mlumbi can continue the impressive upward curve that saw him step into the Western Provincial team the past season, the public will soon produce the answer about his identity without a moment’s hesitation.

And the boardroom is abuzz with discussions about the 21-year old’s talent. That’s why he is one of the seven semi-professional players who have just been picked by the Western Province selection committee and the Coaches for next season.

Is he a future Bavuma? Only time will tell, but Mlumbi is determined to lift his game to new heights in 2017/2018 and create his own legacy.

That tally was just impossible to ignore. The sheer weight of 1069 runs at an average of 118.77 opened the door and now Pieter Malan is a fully contracted Cape Cobras player, almost ten years after this former South African U19 player appeared in his maiden first-class game at age 17.

Malan was a talismanic figure in the Western Province cricket team the last season.

His excellence made him an almost automatic selection at the top of the order alongside Andrew Puttick, Simon Khomari and Richard Levi as primary candidates to open the innings.

“When I was younger, I possibly did not appreciate my contract for what it was and did not value it enough. One thing I learned when I moved to the Cape, was to play the ball as late as possible,” Malan exclaimed.

“I also became more selective, and did not express my attacking game in certain areas until later in the innings.

“But I also did not allow bowlers just to operate without pressure. Whether it was the first ball or the hundredth, if it was bowled in a certain area, it had to go (to the boundary),” said Malan.

“I think the past three years has been so good for my character. It forced me to work enormously hard to get into the Cape Cobras squad,” he said.

The new Cape Cobras squad, freshly released, boasts a powerful top seven.

The collective wisdom and batting acumen of Andrew Puttick, Justin Ontong, Stiaan van Zyl and the returning Qaasim Adams (from the Titans) could be a vital factor in assisting the Cape Cobras to score ten Sunfoil Series tons next season, as was regularly the case in the mid-summer of their domestic dominance.

The quartet can assist the young guns like Jason Smith, Kyle Verreynne, Zubayr Hamza and Dayyaan Galiem to evolve smartly.

Puttick has reached a hundred 26 times in first-class cricket. Ontong has smashed 25 tons. Van Zyl has assembled 21 centuries.

Adams has raised his bat to acknowledge the applause for a hundred ten times.

The four possess oodles of talent and experience.

Adams occupied the crease for 474 minutes in the penultimate Sunfoil Series match of the 2015/2016-season and scored 144 runs. It was his stone-walling and defiance that did much to determine the destiny of the Sunfoil Series through his heroic defensive toil.

Aviwe Mgijima was the Cobras’ player of the year in 2016/2017. Add to that the fact that Wayne Parnell might be available occasionally, and the Cobras will possess a richly talented lower order.

“This is one of the most exciting emerging squads assembled in years,” said Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of the Cape Cobras.

“We have young, very talented players like the batting all-rounder Galiem, a former national U19-player, the former SA U19-star and wicketkeeper Verreynne, Smith and the excellent Hamza.

“I believe our senior players will not only perform to propel the Cobras back to the summit of the log. They will also serve as enthusiastic and selfless mentors to these young players. I’m indebted to Puttick, Ontong and Van Zyl for sharing their rich international knowledge with the emerging stars,” Dien remarked.

The one question which Dane Piedt and Dane Paterson want to answer emphatically is strike-power with the ball.

Piedt finished with 45 Sunfoil Series-wickets in 2014 and 39 in 2015/2016. The captain was not at his all-conquering best in 2016/2017, although he was still a force to be reckoned with.

Paterson could not emulate the performances of 2014/2015, when he was the leading wicket-taker in South African cricket with 42 scalps.

Lizaad Williams’ performances underline the view of many astute observers that the former SA U19-bowler is coming of age and ready to take the next step up.

The Cobras will be assisted by the experience and enormous knowledge of Rory Kleinveldt, who will serve as bowling consultant and still perform on a pay-for-play basis.

The semi-professional bowlers might just ask persistent questions and force a selection rethink if the frontline bowlers don’t hit their straps consistently.

Mthiwekhaya Nabe is a forceful, probing fast bowler. Michael Cohen is an 18-year-old swing bowler who produced match figures of 6-49 in his first first-class match.

Mpilo Njoloza can swing it at pace and took a hat-trick in his maiden franchise-match.

The leg-spinner Junaid Dawood has captured 13 wickets in one first-class game against Namibia and will be a welcome addition to the semi-professional ranks.

Beresford Williams, chairman of the Western Cape Cricket Board, paid homage to a group of top-players and a galaxy of super stars that powered the Cape Cobras to ten titles during a decade of almost unparalleled success. Now, a new exciting breed of players is advancing and he is confident they will do the Cape Cobras proud.

“Now it is a new, exciting dawn and we have full confidence that the young breed of players will do us proud. I believe it is important to create an excellent environment in which the Cape Cobras can produce trophy-winning performances again and do their fans proud.”

Angelo Carolissen, vice-chairman of the Western Cape Cricket Board, said the board’s vision is to give young, talented players opportunities to excel and cement their positions in the Cape Cobras, squad. “We believe by blooding the new, young, energetic squad they will enhance the Cape champions’ performances.”

The Cape Cobras professional squad for 2017-2018 season is: Qaasim Adams, Dayyaan Galiem, Zubayr Hamza, Simon Khomari, Richard Levi, George Linde, Pieter Malan, Aviwe Mgijima, Tshepo Moreki, Justin Ontong, Dane Paterson, Dane Piedt, Andrew Puttick, Jason Smith, Stiaan van Zyl, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams.

The seven semi-professional players are: Neo Mlumbi, Mthiwekhaya Nabe, Mpilo Njoloza, Matthew Kleinveldt, Michael Cohen, Taariq Chiecktey, Junaid Dawood.

Left-arm spinner, Keshav Maharaj, has earned his maiden One-Day International (ODI) call-up to the 15-man Standard Bank Proteas squad for the ICC Champions Trophy, which was announced on Wednesday.

The squad will play three ODI’s against England starting with the first match at Headingley in Leeds on May 24th , before their first group match of the ICC Champions Trophy against Sri Lanka at the Oval on June 3.

The 26-year-old Maharaj has had an impressive debut season for the Test squad, and comes into the squad to bolster the spin options alongside Imran Tahir.

Morne Morkel makes a return to the limited-overs format after nearly 10 months, adding experience to the pace bowling group featuring Kagiso Rabada, Wayne Parnell, Chris Morris, Dwaine Pretorius and Andile Phehlukwayo.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) convener of selectors, Linda Zondi, says the selectors have picked a strong squad which covers all of the combinations and conditions on offer for the eighth edition of the eight-team event.

“We have been working with this group of players for the last two seasons where our key emphasis has been consitency in selection,” Zondi commented. “That has shown in how this group has performed over the last while, which has resulted in winning three consecutive ODI series.

“We feel we have a squad that covers every scenario that we could possibly be faced with on the tour. Most importantly, every player knows and understands their role and value within the squad.

“Keshav has had an expectional debut season for the Test side and his inclusion in the squad gives us a spinner with a different skills and extra batting depth. We have seen how important it is to bat deep in ODI cricket, this option will give us that cover if needed.”

The squad will depart for England on May 16 and will begin their preprations with two 50-over tour matches against Sussex and Northants.

Standard Bank Proteas ODI squad for three-match ODI series against England and ICC Champions Trophy: Hashim Amla (Cape Cobras), Quiton de Kock – wk (Multiply Titans), Faf du Plessis (Multiply Titans), AB de Villiers – captain (Multiply Titans), JP Duminy (Cape Cobras), David Miller (VKB Knights), Chris Morris (Multiply Titans), Wayne Parnell (Cape Cobras), Andile Phehlukwayo (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Kagiso Rabada (bizhub Highveld Lions), Imran Tahir (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Dwaine Pretorius (bizhub Highveld Lions), Keshav Maharaj (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Farhaan Behardien (Multiply Titans), Morne Morkel (Multiply Titans).

South Africa ODI Tour to UK itinerary

Fri 19 May 1-day Tour match v Sussex (D/N) 1st Central County Ground, Hove
Sun 21 May 1-day Tour match v Northants Northampton
Wed 24 May 1st Royal London ODI (D/N) Headingley, Leeds
Sat 27 May 2nd Royal London ODI Ageas Bowl, Southampton
Mon 29 May 3rd Royal London ODI Lord’s, London

Thu 1 – Mon 19 June ICC Champions Trophy
Sat 3 June Sri Lanka v South Africa The Oval, London
Wed 7 June Pakistan v South Africa Edgbaston, Birmingham
Sun 11 June India v South Africa The Oval, London

Aiden Markram and Khaya Zondo have been named as the respective captains of the South Africa ‘A’ four-day and 50-over squads for the upcoming tour of England announced on Wednesday.

The 22 year-old Multiply Titans batsman earns his debut SA ‘A’ call-up after an impressive breakthrough opening season. He scored 565 runs at an average of 51.36 – including two hundreds-in the Sunfoil Series, a season which culminated in a record-breaking man-of-the match performance of 161 off 123 balls in the Momentum One-Day Cup final.

Zondo was equally impressive on his debut season as fulltime captain of the Hollywoodbets Dolphins, scoring 740 runs at an average of 67.27 in the Sunfoil Series including two hundreds and five half-centuries.

“ These are the players we are looking at as future leaders and we are excited to see them develop in this role,” CSA selection convener Linda Zondi said. “Although Aiden hasn’t captained at Franchise level, he has been a player we have eyed since his role as captain of the world-cup winning SA U19 side. Khaya captained the Dolphins for the first time this season and along with being one of the leading run-scorers, has shown leadership qualities that we would like to develop.”

Proteas fast bowler, Dale Steyn, makes a return to action after a lengthy shoulder injury, and has been selected for the four-day squad as he continues to make encouraging progress to full match fitness.

Zondi says the four-day series will be an opportunity to scout out some of the fringe players ahead of the four-Test series against England starting in July.

“The four-day series will give us an opportunity to see how some of the players who are on the fringes of the Test squad perform in England ahead of the four-test series,” Zondi commented. “We still have time to finalise the Test team so that series can give us some pointers before we finalise the Test squad.”

South Africa ‘A’ squad for 50-over series against England Lions: Reeza Hendricks (bizhub Highveld Lions), Jon Jon Smuts (Warriors), Aiden Markram (Multiply Titans), Temba Bavuma (bizhub Highveld Lions), Theunis de Bruyn (VKB Knights), Khaya Zondo – captain (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Heino Kuhn (Multiply Titans), Dwaine Pretorius (bizhub Highveld Lions), Mangaliso Mosehle -wk (bizhub Highveld Lions), Sisanda Magala (Warriors), Tabraiz Shamsi (Multiply Titans), Lungisani Ngidi (Multiply Titans), Duanne Olivier (VKB Knights), Junior Dala (Multiply Titans), Dane Paterson (Cape Cobras).

South Africa ‘A’ squad for four-day series against England Lions: Heino Kuhn (Multiply Titans), Aiden Markram- captain (Multiply Titans), Theunis de Bruyn (VKB Knights), Temba Bavuma (bizhub Highveld Lions), Khaya Zondo (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Jason Smith (Cape Cobras), Heinrich Klaasen – wk (Multiply Titans), Dwaine Pretorius (bizhub Highveld Lions), Rudi Second (VKB Knights), Dane Piedt (Cape Cobras), Lungisani Ngidi (Multiply Titans), Dane Paterson (Cape Cobras), Duanne Olivier (VKB Knights), Junior Dala (Multiply Titans), Beuran Hendricks (Cape Cobras), Dale Steyn (Cape Cobras).

South Africa ‘A’ tour to UK itinerary
Sat 27 May 1-day v County Headingley, Leeds
Mon 29 May 1-day v County The 3aaa County Ground, Derby
Thu 1 June 1st A ODI v England Lions Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Sat 3 June 2nd A ODI v England Lions Northampton
Mon 5 June 3rd A ODI v England Lions (D/N) Northampton
8-11 June 4-day v Hampshire Ageas Bowl, Southampton
14-17 June 4-day v Sussex Arundel (v Duke ofNorfolk XI if Sussex in RL play-offs)
21-24 June ‘A’ Test v Lions The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, Canterbury

He hopes Wayne Parnell can rediscover more pronounced swing consistently, but he is very impressed with the pace and control of the rejuvenated bowling all-rounder after Parnell earned his international re-call in 2016, said Vincent Barnes, CSA coach at the High Performance Centre.

Parnell, senior stalwart of the Cape Cobras, will represent Kent in the South African off-season.

“I have no doubt he will receive a call-up for the South African team for the ICC Champions Trophy and possibly also play test cricket.

“It is ideal that he represents Kent, because I feel, with Wayne, it affects him when he sits on the sidelines. When he represented the Cape Cobras for a full season, it made a massive difference,” said Barnes.

“To me, Wayne is a strike bowler who should open the bowling, operate at 142 km/h, hit the right areas and operate with good control,” he said.

Barnes says he hopes he rediscovers pronounced swing more consistently, but he has spoken to Parnell and the bowler is very happy about the current status quo.

“Wayne can use bounce very effectively not only as a dot ball, but as a way to remove batsmen,” he said.
Injuries have hampered Parnell in the past, affecting his landing position, while his absence from the playing field while sitting on the bench has adversely affected his form.

In his first full domestic season back in 2015/2016, Parnell produced three successive five-wicket hauls for the Cape Cobras in the last two Sunfoil Series matches of the season. It included a magnificent 7-51 at PPC Newlands against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins.

Barnes said the presence of the Cape Cobras’ fast bowler Vernon Philander for Sussex is an ideal move, as he will be in England where South Africa will play in 10 international games from May to August, including four tests.

Probed about the pace of Philander, which was a talking point in the final Test against New Zealand when the former South African captain, Kepler Wessels, was slightly concerned that Philander was operating at 125 km/h and not at an ideal speed of 130 km/h or faster, Barnes said he is not alarmed at all.

“Look, Vernon is a very clever bowler who assesses conditions fast on different tracks and knows what is needed to remove batsmen. Of course he can bowl in the 130’s, there is no doubt at all about that fact,” Barnes said.

Philander will be a vital cog in the South African attack. He nipped out 5-30 in the third test at Lord’s in 2012, a factor which swayed things in the Proteas’ favour decisively.

Barnes said Rory Kleinveldt, at the back-end of a very successful career, will obviously manage himself well while representing Northamptonshire. “I thought the Cape Cobras managed him well while he was playing in Cape Town and not expecting him to play in five consecutive four-day matches.

“He swings it, bowls in excellent areas and is a very experienced bowler. But he needs to look after his body well while in England,” he said.

Stiaan van Zyl, who struck three centuries while carving out 709 runs for the Cape Cobras last season, will play for Sussex as a Kolpak signing, and one of the questions on every Cobras’ fan’s lips will be whether he will score a 1000 runs in the county series.

Richard Levi will represent Northamptonshire. The burley opener struck 412 runs in the Momentum One Day Cup series, but the big focus this season will be on the first-class knocks.

Levi averaged 46.50 for Western Province in the previous season in the Sunfoil Three-Day Cup. It included a sensational 144 off 184 balls with sixteen fours and five sixes.

If Levi can continue the prolific form he demonstrated in white-ball cricket in the first-class season in Engand, it will offer the Cape Cobras’ selectors more options at the top of the order in the Sunfoil Series.

The left-arm spinner George Linde will play club cricket for Biddestone Cricket Club in Chippenham, England, in the off-season.

The seam bowler Tshepo Moreki is destined to have surgery on a troublesome foot injury. The talented seam bowler will return to the fray later in the off-season.

The Cape Cobras’ players Aviwe Mgijima, Dane Piedt, Linde, Jason Smith and Kyle Simmonds will attend a spin camp in Mumbai in India. Shukri Conrad and Robin Peterson will be part of the South African management team that will take the players through their paces from 30th April to 7th May in India.