• Nkwe laments Gayle absence

    Head coach Enoch Nkwe is ruing the absence of West Indies batsman Chris Gayle for the remainder of the Jozi Stars’ Mzansi Super League campaign.

    The hard-hitting left-hander played in the Stars’ first match of the tournament, scoring 23 in defeat to the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants.

    He then departed for a stint with the Kerala Knights in the T10 League in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Since his return to South Africa, he has struck a mere 20 runs in three innings. He has left again, due to family-related reasons.

    ‘It’s unfortunate, but family comes first for us. We totally respect him and what he has to do. Even though he has not made a lot of runs, he has helped us a lot in the dressing room through the competition,’ said Nkwe.

    The Stars currently occupy second position in the inaugural tournament’s six-team standings after five victories in nine attempts. The Cape Town Blitz and Giants are first and third respectively. The Stars will face the Tshwane Spartans at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Tuesday. Victory will ensure a berth in the play-off stage of the competition.

    ‘We don’t want to leave it up to other teams and we want to make sure we decide for ourselves, so we know exactly what needs to be done against the Spartans,’ added Nkwe.

    ‘We had an opportunity to do it against Paarl Rocks, but missed out after they played exceptionally well. We pretty much know what needs to be done.

    ‘Fortunately for us, it’s a home game and in conditions we understand. We just need to make sure that on the day we play our best cricket. We have to back ourselves and the processes we have in place, and also capitalise during those key moments of the game.’

    Photo: Gallo

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