- The Lions fared significantly better in domestic cricket than their sister franchise, the Jozi Stars, did in the 2019 Mzansi Super League. Coach Wandile Gwavu’s role was key in the absence of Enoch Nkwe, while the franchise was a safe and reinvigorating space for Temba Bavuma during exile from the Proteas Test XI. The Lions won the 4-Day Domestic Series and effectively came second in the One-Day Cup.
- Intriguingly, the Lions didn’t have any batsmen among the 4-Day Domestic Series’ top 10 run-scorers despite winning the tournament. Reeza Hendricks and Dominic Hendricks, though, were their top-order kingpins throughout. In the One-Day Cup, Ryan Rickelton was right up among the best alongside the Dolphins’ Grant Roelofsen and Cape Cobras’ Zubayr Hamza.
- Military medium at best but with several variations, Malusi Siboto outfoxed many batsmen in four-day cricket. For the limited-overs stuff, the franchise relied on seasoned campaigner Aaron Phangiso, who was the most prolific finger-spinner in the competition overall. Fast bowler Eldred Hawken was solid during both tournaments after joining from the Titans.
Impact of feeder system
- The Lions’ success at franchise level contrasted Gauteng’s struggles in provincial cricket. Gauteng won just one match in the CSA 3-Day Provincial Cup, but unearthed batsman Joshua Richards, who was afforded a January stretch of four matches at franchise level for the Lions.
- Seamer Migael Pretorius and batsman Wihan Lubbe have left for the Knights and Warriors, respectively. Lubbe was approached by the Cape Cobras, too.
- Warriors duo Lutho Sipamla and Sisanda Magala will join the Lions for next season. Another seamer in Tladi Bokako, from the Cape Cobras, will be there as well – and batsman Wesley Marshall from the Titans.
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