David Wiese will be coming home in more ways than one when he links up with some old mates in the Tshwane Spartans squad for what he and they hope will be two more matches in the Mzansi Super League.
The 34-year-old Wiese replaces Englishman Tom Curran in the Spartans squad for the final week of the MSL. Curran left South Africa on Monday, heading to Sydney where he will play for the Sixers in the Big Bash League.
Wiese, who has played six One-Day Internationals and 20 T20 Internationals, said he was looking forward to sharing a dressing room with players he has known since he was a boy.
‘It will be nice to get back playing with the older Titans guard – Roelof, Morne and AB – and mix with some of the younger guys,’ said Wiese, who played for Sussex in England this year.
‘This is home for me, adapting is easy. I basically still know everybody, I still keep in touch with everyone. It’s not like I’m coming into a new team. I’m coming into an old team, with guys I enjoy playing with, and I’m looking forward to that aspect of it.’
Following a brief break in Mauritius with his wife, who is expecting their first child, after the English season, Wiese has kept himself ‘cricket fit’ by playing in the Abu Dhabi T10 competition.
He will need to hit the ground running, however, as the Spartans head down to Port Elizabeth to face the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants in the MSL playoff on Friday.
The Giants had the better of the few overs they were able to play when the two teams faced each other at SuperSport Park, reducing the Spartans to 33-4 in the seven overs that were possible before rain ended proceedings. In the corresponding fixture at St George’s Park three weeks later, the Giants successfully chased down a target of 189 in the final over.
‘They have had a solid campaign, they’ve got most bases covered. They’ve relied on their spinners a lot in PE, the conditions there suit that. They are a well-rounded team, they have some explosive batters and good bowlers. They deserve to be where they are at this stage. It will be a tough outing to try and beat at their home ground with all their support. We need to be up for it and take on the challenge,’ said Wiese.
The Spartans have had a difficult campaign, which has been severely impacted by the weather with half of their matches either washed out or abandoned owing to rain.
Nevertheless they won three of the five matches they were able to complete, finishing third on the table to earn a spot in the playoffs.
Meanwhile, all-rounder Wiaan Mulder has been ruled out for the remainder of the tournament with a back injury and will be replaced by 27-year-old off-spinner Imraan Manack.
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