The Tuskers (formerly known as KZN Inland) have announced a strong squad led by new captain Michael Erlank to compete in the T20 Knock Out in Bloemfontein.
The tournament got under way in Kimberley this past Friday in a bio-bubble environment and marked the start of the 2021-22 domestic cricket season.
The Pietermaritzburg-based Tuskers will play the first match under their new name against the Mpumalanga Rhinos at the Mangaung Oval on Tuesday.
The Division 2 side are in Pool B where they will also be up against Division 1 teams the Titans (Northerns) and Knights (Free State).
The Tuskers, coached by Michael Smith, made some good signings during the off-season with quality and experienced players such as Erlank, Cameron Delport, Tian Koekemoer, Tshepang Dithole, vice-captain Luke Schlemmer and Kyle Nipper being brought to the Pietermaritzburg City Oval (Koekemoer will miss the T20 Knock Out due to an injury).
There are also some exciting youngsters such as Andile Mogakane, Nduduzo Mfoza, Hilton College old boy Michael Sclanders and Mondli Khumalo.
In preparation for the T20 Knock Out and the season ahead, Smith’s men played several pre-season games, including a couple of T20 matches against the Dolphins in Maritzburg.
Tuskers manager Jason Sathiaseelan is excited that the team will finally get into some competitive action and confident they can do well against Division 1 sides.
“The guys have worked extremely hard for the last couple of months, and we are confident that the team will do well in that tough group. We are hoping to qualify for the playoffs,” he said. “The team has enough balance not only to compete but to get the results as well.”
Tuskers squad – Michael Erlank (c), Cameron Delport, Tshepang Dithole, Keith Dudgeon, Kyle Nipper, Kurtlyn Mannikam, Andile Mogakane, Thula Ngcobo, Zac Paruk, Luke Schlemmer, Cameron Shekleton, Michael Sclanders, Nduduzo Mfoza, Mondli Khumalo, Gareth Dukes, Mathew Pollard.
Tuesday – vs Mpumalanga Rhinos (2:30pm)
Wednesday – vs Knights (10am)
Thursday – vs Titans (10am)