Imperial Lions coach Wandile Gwavu is a happy man after his team was crowned 4-Day Domestic Series champions by Cricket South Africa on Tuesday.
With Covid-19 ending domestic seasons across many countries, CSA, as recommended by interim director of cricket Graeme Smith, handed the series to the Lions. They were leading the standings when all cricket was stopped as they successfully defended their title.
With two matches still remaining in the competition, the Lions edged neighbours the Momentum Multiply Titans for the crown.
‘It’s a great feeling,’ said Gwavu.
‘This is probably the toughest competition to win on the local circuit and to have done it two seasons in a row, defending the title, is actually one of the toughest things to do.
‘So, I am delighted to have won the four-day title and I have to give a lot of credit to the players and everybody whose involved with Lions Cricket for doing such a great job in helping us retain the title,’ Gwavu said.
The Lions were in fine form since the first round of matches and took an early lead in the standings.
Things got a bit more difficult by the turn for the second half of the competition but despite the obscure circumstances, they hung on for what can be regarded as a deserved victory.
‘Ideally, we would have loved for the whole competition to go right through to the end, but we’ll take this one. It certainly doesn’t feel the same because I was part of the team that won the competition last season where we won it on the last day of the season.
‘It was certainly a different feeling then and I would have liked to have completed the campaign. But for us to be on the top where we are when the season stopped after eight games, it means we’ve played some good cricket,’ added Gwavu.
With the coronavirus continuing to cause havoc across the world and with South Africa due to start a national lockdown within a couple of hours on Thursday, the coach reiterated the importance of working together as a society and to take necessary caution.
The isolating scenario also meant there were no arrangements made for the Lions to celebrate their win.
‘Rather be at home and stay with your families where it’s safe, so celebrations are on ice for now. The time for that will come. Whether it is in the next month or not it will still be there. It’s not going anywhere, so we’ll celebrate when we get together the next time.
‘The pandemic is a very serious matter and the guys will be staying at home, so there will be no celebrating just yet,’ concluded Gwavu.