The Eastern Cape Sunrisers captain reveals what SA20 is doing for South African cricket and how much the English overseas players are helping his team.
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How exciting is it to have a South African T20 competition that can rival the best in the world?
It’s very exciting. We understand how much work has gone into it and a model similar to the IPL is an awesome opportunity for us.
It’s a huge chance for local players to showcase their talent.
Based on your experience of other franchise competitions, how important is it to have one in South Africa?
Very important. You look at the level of cricketer playing at this competition, it’s massive. Some of the best players I’ve been involved with.
How exciting is to be a big part of the Sunrisers brand?
Sunrisers have really looked after me after last year’s IPL and appreciation needs to go towards them for showing that interest in me and backing me the way that they do.
I hope it’s the start of a long journey with them.
How can this competition improve the strength and depth of the national team?
Absolutely, I think playing against some of the best players in the world can only do that. The young players will be exposed to that level of cricket and that can only improve the standard.
For these guys to be rubbing shoulders with some of the best overseas player is great, too.
What is the key to winning a franchise competition?
It probably comes down to getting everybody gelled as soon as you can because you’re coming together from pretty much all over the world.
You need to get everybody to buy into the idea of one goal and going in one direction.
From an ability point of view, everybody has great ability and that’s why they’re involved in this tournament. It’s about making sure we’re all on the same page.
You’re such a consistent run-scorer. What’s the key to that consistency?
I suppose it’s focusing on the process more than the outcome. Each game is obviously starting on zero and you can’t take form for granted.
Trying to make a difference for the team on the day is the biggest thing. Sometimes it might be a 30, some days it might be a bigger score.
Making that impact for the team and putting the team in a good position or a winning position is ultimately the main goal.
Which of the talent you’ve signed for Sunrisers Eastern Cape have you been most excited to work with?
Tristan Stubbs and Marco Jansen obviously went for big money, but I think Sisanda Magala is one I was really looking forward to playing with.
It’ll be great for him to experience a league like this, playing with and against some top players.
And how happy are you with your overseas contingent?
The energy and the banter in the group has been awesome.
The English players bring a fearless, positive approach to playing cricket, which is exactly the way we want to play. I think they fit in nicely with our blueprint.
We want to tap into their knowledge and methods that have helped them be aggressive, but also smart at the same time. I think they will help the team a lot.
If you could pick one player from an SA20 opponent, who would it be?
The first one that comes to mind is Rashid Khan. He’s been a world-beater from such a young age, so to have that experience and skill would help any team.