Despite a curtailed season in 2019-20, both KZN Coastal and KZN Inland can take a great deal of confidence from their achievements, as the union makes a few additions to each squad to bolster them ahead of the new season.
KZN Coastal once again proved their class in the red-ball format of the game after they shared the CSA 3-Day Provincial Cup title with Northerns, backing up the title that they won two seasons ago.
Going into the new season there will be some new faces from outside the province at training, with former Knights seamer Corne Dry joining the union and young North West Academy seamer Hlompo Modimokoane also entering the ranks.
Former Proteas batsman Vaughn van Jaarsveld moves from a franchise contract to fill a vital mentoring role for the young Coastal batting lineup while spinner Smangaliso Nhlebela also takes up a semi-professional contract.
The 19 year-old Matthew Pollard graduates from the KZN Coastal Academy to take a semi-professional deal with the union of his birth.
Coastal cricket services manager Ritesh Ramjee is excited about the squad that the franchise has got going into the new season.
‘I would like to congratulate the players on their new contracts and I believe the squad we have is an exciting group of players,’ Ramjee said. ‘There are quality players in the group with a lot of potential who have proven that they can compete with the best.
‘To have the vast experience of Vaughn [van Jaarsveld] and Corne [Dry] to nurture the young talent in the Coastal pipeline can only benefit the union and the Dolphins in the long run.
‘I believe we have the capability and we have stars in the making to take this team forward.’
From an Inland perspective, they gain two former Coastal players in left-arm seamer Thula Ngcobo and youngster Ruan Cronje.
Coming up into the ranks from school level is young SA U19 seamer Mondli Khlumalo, who receives his first semi-professional contract.
Inland cricket services manager Jason Sathiaseelan believes that their squad is primed for the coming season with a specific emphasis on white-ball cricket.
‘With the introduction of the T10 and Pro40 competitions at senior provincial level for the new season, it seems that limited-overs cricket is going to be the main focus,’ Sathiaseelan said.
‘With that in mind we are happy with our squad and have done relatively well in white-ball cricket.
‘In addition to our young squad, we have also utilised schoolboys in Slade van Staten [Hilton College] and Andile Simelane [Maritzburg College]. They will continue to be part of the development plans.
‘We are looking forward to an improved season of cricket.’
KZN Coastal squad 2020-21: Smangaliso Nhlebela, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Corne Dry, Thamsanqa Khumalo, Jason Oakes, Blayde Capell, Michael Erlank, Zack Paruk, Brad Porteous, Hlompo Modimokoane, Matthew Pollard.
KZN Inland Squad 2020-21: Luke Schlemmer, Cameron Shekleton, Kushen Kishen, Gareth Dukes, Kurtlyn Mannikam, Thula Ngcobo, Tyron Koen, Ruan Cronje, Nduduzo Mfoza, Sohail Mahmoud, Mondli Khumalo.