The selection of bizhub Highveld Lions, Gauteng Cricket and North West players at the T20 Global League draft has been a strong indication of the development of the cricket franchise talent to provide a consistent stream of talent into the professional teams.
"We are incredibly impressed with selection of so many of our players in the T20 Global challenge” says Gauteng Cricket Board CEO Greg Fredericks
The chairperson of the bizhub Highveld Lions and president of North West Cricket Dr Oupa Nkagisang, shared similar sentiments "I am proud of our players. They have kept joining the charge with the representation of the various T20 Global teams," said Nkagisang
One of the biggest winners was proven opener of the bizhub Highveld Lions team Rassie van der Dussen who was a 4th round pick snapped up by the Cape Town Knight Riders given he has scored nearly a thousand runs for the Lions in 36 innings for them, at a strike-rate of 127. Statistical work by the Impact Index shows that van der Dussen’s performances have considerable influence on the games he plays and his consistency and six-hitting ability make him a very attractive top-order pick.
Another scooped up in the early rounds was Bjorn Fortuin. The 22-year-old spin bowling all-rounder was turning heads last season. His performances for the bizhub Highveld Lions, North West in the Africa T20 Cup along with performances for the SA Emerging with him picking up match figures of 6-99 earned him a signing with the Durban Qalandars
Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana who will be assistant coach at Benoni Zalmi was full of praise for his players. He said it is testament to the hard work his players have been putting in as 13 bizhub Highveld Lions players were signed.
Dwaine Pretorius (Cape Town Knight Riders), Reeza Hendricks (Pretoria Mavericks), Aaron Phangiso (Bloem City Blazers), Craig Alexander (Stellenbosch Monarchs), Beuran Hendricks (Bloem City Blazers), Mangaliso Mosehle (Stellenbosch Monarchs), Nicky van der Bergh (Durban Qalandars), Bjorn Fortuin (Durban Qalandars), Wiaan Mulder (Stellenbosch Monarchs), Yaseen Valli (Bloem City Blazers), Carmi le Roux (Benoni Zalmi), Wihan Lubbe (Nelson Mandela Bay Stars), and Rassie van der Dussen (Cape Town Knight Riders)
Most impressive was some the amateur players of Gauteng and North West that were picked up. Being Gauteng wicket-keeper batsman Ryan Rickelton (Nelson Mandela Bay Stars), and North West brothers Jannaman (Bloem Blazers) and Andra Malan (Joburg Giants) and Marques Ackerman (Durban Qalandars)
Another bizhub Highveld Lions player is Joburg Giants Proteas marquee player Kagiso Rabada who is really looking forward for the T20 Global League gets underway.
While their international marquee player is Brendon McCullum, who was snapped up by the Johannesburg franchise as the second pick in the draft for international marquee players, providing the tantalising prospect of a batsman and captain who did much to reinvent the game teaming up with a young fast bowler who is tipped to become one of the greats.
The Gauteng Cricket Board, custodian of the Wanderers Stadium, has noted with excitement the announcement around the T20 Global League South Africa’s allocation of teams to various stadia and are thrilled welcome GMR Sports as they join the charge at the Bullring.
Joburg Giants Squad: Kagiso Rabada, Brendon McCullum (NZ), Colin Ingram, Vernon Philander, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Jonker, Temba Bavuma, Patrick Kruger, Yasir Shah (PAK), Nicolas Pooran, Duanne Olivier, Jonathan Vandiar, Roelof van der Merwe, Andries Gous, Rabian Engelbrecht, Dane Piedt, Andre Malan and Zubayr Hamza.