A refreshed Aiden Markram says he is excited about captaining the Sunrisers Eastern Cape in the SA20 league.
Markram was left out of the Proteas squad that suffered a 2-0 Test series defeat in Australia and instead played for the Northerns Titans in the domestic One-Day Cup.
“It was nice. Last year was quite busy, so to have the festive season off with family and friends, it’s been a while since I’ve had that. It was very refreshing,” Markram said at Saturday’s SA20 captain’s press conference.
Having played for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, Markram was an obvious choice to lead the Eastern Cape franchise in the SA20, which starts on Tuesday with a match between MI Cape Town and the Paarl Royals at Newlands (17:30).
“We have quite a young group, so hopefully, we can bring that exuberance of youth to the forefront and play some entertaining cricket,” Markram said. “There is a good fan base down in Gqeberha, and hopefully, we can fill the stadium.
“In terms of leadership, I’m really excited about it,” he added. “It’s been a while since I’ve captained a team, so I’m really looking forward to it.
“It might take the odd practice game here and there sort of just to remember how things go, but luckily we’ve got the next few days to tap into the knowledge of our management.
“There’s quite a lot of experience and then the new young ideas from the guys in the team.
“If we can balance those two together, hopefully, get on the right path and play some good cricket as a team. I’m looking forward to the tournament.”
The Sunrisers Eastern Cape will kick off their SA20 campaign against the Pretoria Capitals at St George’s Park on Thursday (17:30).
Sunrisers Eastern Cape: Aiden Markram (c), Ottniel Baartman, Marco Jansen, Tristan Stubbs, Sisanda Magala, Junaid Dawood, Mason Crane, Jon-Jon Smuts, Jordan Cox, Adam Rossington, Roelof van der Merwe, Marques Ackerman, James Fuller, Tom Abell, Aya Gqamane, Sarel Erwee, Brydon Carse, Jordan Hermann.