Following a strong conclusion to the 2019-20 season, the Dolphins have announced a number of exciting changes to their squad as they welcome three new players and reward three players from within the strong KZN pipeline.
Coming into the Dolphins set-up from outside the province are two Knights stars, Keegan Petersen and Ottneil Baartman, while young Northerns trailblazer, Ruan de Swardt, also joins the KZN set-up.
‘Keegan has been a very consistent run-scorer across all competitions, to have a player of his calibre coming in to strengthen the top order is a massive boost and adds to the depth we have in our squad,’ said Dolphins CEO Heinrich Strydom.
Petersen was rewarded with a call-up to the Proteas squad for their recent Test series against England and this is a good indicator that his career is heading on the right trajectory.
Baartman has made the step up from semi-professional cricket to franchise level well and stood out for the Knights in their recent One-Day Cup campaign as he finished as the side’s third-highest wicket-taker in the competition.
‘Ottneil has shown over the last season that he has what it takes at franchise level and we wanted to give him a chance to play regular cricket at that level. He bowled well for the Knights in the recent One Day Cup and will add good balance to our bowling lineup,’ added Strydom.
The 22 year-old De Swardt has hugely impressive numbers at semi-professional level, especially with a batting average of 55 in First Class cricket and 88 in List-A cricket.
‘Ruan is a hugely talented young all-rounder and to be able to have him among our team is a massive bonus,’ said Strydom.
The KZN Cricket Union’s highly successful development programme continues to produce future stars, and this year Lifa Ntanzi and Andile Mogakane will graduate to the Dolphins franchise team.
The experienced Mangaliso Mosehle, who was recently on loan to the Cape Cobras, has also been upgraded to a franchise contract following his positive season at KZN Inland.
‘Mangi played an important role for us behind the stumps in the 4-Day Series and has so much to offer, so we are delighted to have him in the Dolphins set-up. Lifa has raw pace and Andile has all-rounder potential, we are really excited about the talented players that the KZN pipeline keeps producing,’ Strydom added.
Unfortunately there is a handful of players that will be leaving the Dolphins including Sibz Makhanya, Okuhle Cele, Calvin Savage and Lwandiswa Zuma.
‘We want to thank these players for the impact that they have made at the Dolphins and with KZN Cricket during their time here. We wish them all the best on their new adventures,’ said Strydom.
As part of future planning, stalwart Vaughn van Jaarsveld has joined the Hollywoodbets KZN Coastal set-up and will play an integral part as mentor to some of the exciting young batsmen coming through the KZN pipeline. Left-arm spinner Smangaliso Nhlebela has also been retained at semi-professional level and will continue to develop his skills for the different formats.
Dolphins coach Imraan Khan is looking forward to hitting the ground running with the squad as soon as they can.
‘It’s an exciting group of players to work with,’ he said. ‘There is a lot of potential and the three boys that are coming in are quality players and I am sure they will add another dimension to the group.
‘Andile [Mogakane] and Lifa [Ntanzi] are homegrown and we are looking to grow their games over the coming months.’
Dolphins squad 2020-21 season: Andile Phehlukwayo, David Miller, Keshav Maharaj, Andile Mogakane, Cody Chetty, Daryn Dupavillon, Eathan Bosch, Grant Roelofsen, Keegan Petersen, Keith Dudgeon, Kerwin Mungroo, Khaya Zondo, Lifa Ntanzi, Mangaliso Mosehle, Marques Ackerman, Ottneil Baartman, Prenelan Subrayen, Rob Frylinck, Ruan de Swardt, Sarel Erwee, Senuran Muthusamy.
Photo: Gallo Images