Cape Cobras left-arm fast bowler Akhona Mnyaka is determined to play a pivotal role in both white- and red-ball cricket when the 2020-21 season gets under way.
Mnyaka, just 20 years old, has played only one first-class match in his career, with 15 List A matches and 10 T20 matches to his name. Now the youngster is out to prove that he’s not just a limited-overs cricketer.
‘As a team, if we’re being honest, we didn’t do so well last season. We know where we finished, so hopefully we’ll do better in the new season,’ said Mnyaka.
‘From a personal point of view, if I’m brutally honest with myself, I didn’t have any personal highs this past season. I’d like to improve that in the upcoming season and do better for the team. In terms of my lows, I obviously got injured, so that was a big blow for me. So, I am trying to keep fit, improve and try not to disappoint myself again to be more available to be selected to play.
‘Everyone plays to win, so we’d like to win at least one competition out of the two as a team. Personally, a goal for myself is to play a certain amount of games in 4-Day cricket where I haven’t really played much, so one of the goals would be to play in the 4-Day competition and perform well.’
Mnyaka is well aware that he won’t have senior heads around him in the bowling department this coming season, with the likes of Dane Piedt, Dane Paterson, Lizaad Williams and Rory Kleinveldt departing the franchise, but the former SA U19 star is not daunted by this prospect and is confident that he and his new teammates will rise to the challenge.
‘With the senior players having left, it is a fairly new squad, with new players, and the bowlers who are there haven’t been around for long in the team. So it is time for me to take it upon myself as I have been trying to do in the past season as well, but I think now more, it’s time to step up and lead from the front. Obviously there are older guys coming from different teams who have more experience that I could learn from and try and do my role better, perform for the team and put on good performances for the team, the team before me,’ he added.
‘It’s a really exciting new squad at the Cobras, it is more dimensional, and we’ve got different types of players, with different styles of playing the game. We’ve got a good strong squad to perform in both the red- ball and white-ball competitions.’
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