Warriors coach Rivash Gobind has highlighted to his players the importance of the future rather than the past.
Gobind was speaking ahead of their 4-Day Franchise Series opener against the Highveld Lions in Port Elizabeth, starting on Monday.
The two sides launch their 2018-19 seasons at the St George’s Cricket Ground hoping to make an early statement after contrasting campaigns last year.
The hosts enjoyed one of their most memorable terms in years when they won a share of the 50-over competition and also ended runner’s up in the first-class game.
But Gobind says all that is history.
‘My message to the players has been pretty clear, I mean last season is last season,’ he warned. ‘We’re now in this season. You can’t look too much into the past and the players know that. We can’t take anything for granted. I think when the players and I are retired then we can look back and think about what they achieved, but for now, it’s about the present. So we’ll want to do well going forward.’
Gobind also spoke about the way their pre-season had panned out, saying they were all now itching to start.
‘We’re very excited and can’t wait to get going. Pre-season is a lot of hard work, so everyone is excited that the competition starts now. Our squad has stayed pretty much the same. We’ve added a couple of younger guys to the mix. We’re pretty settled in terms of where we are in four-day cricket.
‘We’re starting to enjoy it again, which we hadn’t done over the past few years, so hopefully, we get a good start this week coming.’
Matthew Breetzke and Christiaan Jonker are both unavailable for the Warriors this week, while Kolpak pair Colin Ackermann and Simon Harmer only arrive during the game.
The Lions, meanwhile, are even more excited to get going. They have a different coach in the dressing room after Enoch Nkwe replaced Geoffrey Toyana and the new man is looking forward to it.
‘I can’t wait,’ he said. ‘It’s been a very good pre-season and all has gone well. I’m excited about my first game at franchise level.’
The Lions endured a forgettable 2017-18, which also included taking the wooden spoon in the four-day competition.
But Nkwe says that is also behind them. ‘We had some time to put all that behind us and tackle some of the things we’re unhappy about,’ he added. ‘We’ve worked hard with the players mentally as well and the feeling is that everyone is now looking forward. We’re ready for this next chapter.’
Ryan Rickelton is the only player absent due to injury.
HEAD TO HEAD – Warriors v Highveld Lions
Matches Played: 28
Warriors Wins: Six
Lions Wins: 12
|MATCH STATS (4-Day Franchise Series)||WARRIORS||BIZHUB HIGHVELD LIONS|
|Highest Score||532 (East London 2009/10)||690/9 (East London 2009/10)|
|Lowest Score||135 (Port Elizabeth 2012/13)||59 (Johannesburg 2012/13)|
|Highest Individual Score||154 AG Prince (East London 2009/10)||390 SC Cook (East London 2009/10)|
|Best bowling in an innings||7-24 A Gqamane (Johannesburg 2012/13)||7-44 GJ-P Kruger (Johannesburg 2005/06)|