Grant Morgan believes his Durban Heat squad has ‘a lot of meat on the bone’ and hopes this will garner success in the inaugural Mzansi Super League season that gets under way next week.
The MSL T20 competition was launched last month, with preparations racing along at a high pace as the organisers bid to deliver the perfect first edition.
Following confirmation of the six city-based franchise teams in early October, the allocation of marquee national players followed, before the highly anticipated player draft revealed the various playing squads.
After plenty of strategising, the Heat ended up with arguably the best squad – on paper at least – as 13 of their 16 players have international experience. Included among these players are Hashim Amla, David Miller, Albie Morkel and Heinrich Klaasen, along with international marquee player – and a rising global star – Rashid Khan of Afghanistan.
‘We’re just happy with what we’ve got,’ said Morgan said. ‘I think it’s an excellent squad. The draft itself had a good rhythm all the way through it and I felt we were balanced. We nailed our spine quickly, we got through to our 10 overs and our batting power players.
‘From there we felt we could add meat to the bone and it kind of went that way for us. We ended up in a really healthy state and with a bone that has a lot of meat on it.’
Morgan added that he does not feel that a good squad necessarily equates to success on the field, pointing out that everything needs to click for the Heat to make a strong impression on the competition.
‘The ideal T20 game is when you make 720, that means you hit every ball for six, and you bowl the other side out for nought,’ he stated. ‘I think somewhere in between, and obviously being a bit cynical, I feel that we can bowl sides out, I feel we can put pressure to be able to get 180-plus because our bowling and out batting kind of links in and we have a deeper set of guys.’
Morgan was also satisfied with the batting depth in the Heat squad.
‘A Rashid Khan at nine or a Keshav Maharaj down there can still hit you 10 off three balls to win a game, so we’re covered from that aspect,’ he continued. ‘We’ve got pace in Marchant de Lange and we’ve got experience through seven different players who have captained franchise teams, there are a number of Proteas too.’
Like most of the teams, the Heat also signed several of their regular franchise players, with six drafted by Morgan. They are Miller, Maharaj, Khaya Zondo, Morne van Wyk, Okuhle Cele and Sarel Erwee. Amla and Kyle Abbott also have plenty of history with the Durban side.
‘We needed to make provision for when the Proteas were away, so we brought in players accordingly,’ added Morgan on the logic behind their selections. ‘That’s where the local Dolphins players will be important. Hopefully they can do the job for us then and I think a good start will be important in that respect. Then we’ll be hoping that those that come in later will make that impact we need to finish the competition strongly.’
The Heat’s MSL campaign starts with a home clash against the Cape Town Blitz at Kingsmead next Sunday, 18 November.
All MSL T20 matches will be broadcast live exclusively by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on its television and radio platforms, with global coverage to come via the Global Sports Commerce (GSC), who Cricket South Africa (CSA) has brought in as an international commercial and broadcast partner from 2018 to 2022.