SACricketmag.com previews the 4-Day Franchise Series. In this preview, we look at the Warriors’ season ahead.
Joint winners of the Momentum Cup, semi-finalists in the T20 Challenge, and runners-up in the 4-Day Franchise Series, the Warriors have gone into every season as underdogs. Despite their lack of Proteas players, the East London-based club finds a way to be taken seriously.
With two wins last season, the Warriors managed to lose the Sunfoil Series title by net run rate. Some may say the Warriors were unlucky, drawing their final game to the Dolphins, a match they dominated despite two days being lost to rain. A win for the Titans against the Knights in the final game saw the Centurion side lift the trophy, where a win for the Warriors would have seen them become champions. Their two wins in the season came against the Lions and the Titans as they finished the campaign with the same two wins, one loss and seven draws like the Titans.
Colin Ingram’s availability will be non-existent with all his T20 commitments, so the Warriors will lose an experienced campaigner. After a great season, Tladli Bokako joined up with the Cobras, and David White has retired. This gives the young additions like 18-year-old Sinethemba Qeshile, 20-year-old Lutho Sipamla and 19-year-old Matthew Breetzke a chance to step up.
One to watch
The talented Breetzke is one to watch. The 19-year-old went from winning the South African U19 Player of the Year at the CSA awards to earning himself a full Warriors contract. He was recently named to travel with the Proteas for experience and will look to bring that experience with him into the new campaign.
If you take into consideration the amazing campaign the Warriors had last season, a repeated drive from them will make it impossible for us not to throw them into title contention. With an injection of youngsters and having held on to key experienced players, the Warriors have the makeup of a dangerous franchise side. Expect at least one trophy from them this season.
Jon Jon Smuts
Photo: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images