The inaugural Dolphins Premier League is set to ignite KwaZulu-Natal’s winter cricket schedule after the successful player auction held at Kingsmead.
In a heated auction where a number of Dolphins players were up for grabs, the teams jostled to get the best deals as players went for a premium ahead of the event that takes place toward the end of August.
Incorporating the best Durban and Pietermaritzburg club players along with contracted KZN Coastals, Inland and Academy players, the tournament is a way of trying to upskill the players at the lower levels of cricket by exposing them to players who have been involved at provincial level and higher.
The eight-team tournament is set to take place over three weekends, starting on the final weekend of August. From there, the competition moves to Pietermaritzburg for the first weekend of September and culminates in the finals at Kingsmead Cricket Stadium over 8-9 September.
‘I engaged with Ziyaad Desai, the founder of the Lenasia Premier League, and together we created this tournament as a way to try and give KZN’s top club players the opportunity to test themselves against our contracted players,’ KwaZulu-Natal Cricket’s CEO Heinrich Strydom mentioned.
‘There are some of the province’s top schoolboy cricketers involved too which exposes them to a higher level of cricket. We see this competition as a great way to continue the growth of cricket in the province and to try and bridge the gap between our club system and the players at the top.’
There will be a number of Dolphins players involved in the tournament which include Cody Chetty, Prenelan Subrayen, Eathan Bosch, Kerwin Mungroo, Okuhle Cele, Mthokozisi Shezi, Lwandiswa Zuma, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Morne van Wyk, SJ Erwee, Smangaliso Nhlebela as well as Proteas Rob Frylinck and Keshav Maharaj.
The tournament has also been seen as a good precursor to the Africa T20 Cup that heralds the start of the South African domestic season. Having a tournament will give players the chance to sharpen their skills in a competitive environment as KZN Inland bid to defend their title.
Creating an environment that incorporates and grows cricket in the coastal and inland regions was an important aspect when the development of the Dolphins Premier League came about. The event will not only be about the development of players, but coaches and umpires as well.
‘It’s a great opportunity for coaches to mentor players from all different levels of the game as well as expose them to a higher level of competition.
‘For the umpires, it gives them more opportunities to hone their skills in a pressurized environment while being exposed to players of a higher level than they might be used to,’ Strydom explained.
Team Lists for the 2018 Dolphins Premier League
- Umngeni Rhinos
Marques Ackerman, Khalipa Cele, Nicholas Hewer, Bruce Kerr, Matthew Luksich, Ishan Maharaj, Nduduzo Mfoza, Saidi Mhlongo, Riaan Minnie, Matthew Montgomery, Wonder Mtolo, Thula Ngcobo, Pumelela Payi, Jarrod Streicher, Richard Wissing
- Pietermaritzburg Spurs
Tyron Koen, Thamsanqa Khumalo, Sthabiso Zungu, Josh van Eden, Roger Skene, Zakaria Paruk, Warren Naidoo, Athi Maposa, SJ Erwee, Aathish Maharaj, Mondli Khumalo, Stephan Joubert, Andrew Dyer, Lyndon Brown, Jason Biddulph
- Durban Chiefs
Deepak Anand, Daryn Dupavillon, Gareth Jeary, Keshav Maharaj, Kurtlyn Mannikam, Masimbongwe Mthembu, Kyle Nipper, Matthew Pollard, Bradley Porteous, Katlego Thena, Tebogo Thena, Tyler Trenowith, Morné van Wyk, Mpumelelo Xulu, Christopher Mohale
- East Coast Wizards
Josh Brown, Simon Holmes, Sandile Hlatswayo, Dudu Zondo, Jesse Smit, Brandon Scullard, Luke Schlemmer, Ryan Reeves, Mishkal Ramsaroop, Kyle Moolman, Okuhle Cele, Nazeer Jaffer, Cameron Gordon, Jeyato Bezuidenhoudt
- Zulu Kings
Pienaar Buys, Gareth Dukes, Hussain Essop, Ruben Hattingh, Graham Hume, Xolani Mahlaba, Jason Mathews, Shaldon Mungroo, Smangaliso Nhlebela, Jason Oakes, Juan Pretorius, Michael Schlanders, Gareth Schreuder, Mthokozisi Shezi, Prenelan Subrayen
- Drakensberg Thunder
Chad Scott, Jason Kraft, Carl Heunis, Ruan van Rensberg, James Ritchie, Zain Patel, Yergesh Naidoo, Keenan Moses, Eathan Bosch, Kerwin Mungroo, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Ross Klusener, Matthew Jeary, Nashen Govender, Greg Ford
- Ethekwini Hurricanes
Michael Alexander, Kyle Buckthorp, Blyde Capel, Keith Dudgeon, Michael Erlank, Cody Gertze, Khwezi Gumede, Neill Jordaan, Robert Koenig, Nabeel Mahomed, Tawanda Mawarie, Andile Mogakane, Waseem Rahman, Grant Roelofsen, Joel Veeran
- Tugela Sharks
Rob Frylinck, Caleb Pillay, Lifa Ntanzi, Jason Wagner, Johnny Riekert, Abdul Hack Razak, Gareth Rall, Ruhan Pretorius, Irshaad Mohamed, Cody Chetty, Lwandiswa Zuma, Suhail Mahomed, Vyash Gobind, Javier Frost, George Bronkhorst, Fraser Jones
Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix