The Paarl Royals captain reveals what the Betway SA20 means to South Africa and discusses having two World Cup-winning captains on 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, South Africa has been searching for something like this for a few years.
The weather’s always good here in South Africa, the time zone is great, and there are brilliant places to visit here.
The competition among the teams should be really strong so I think this is a tournament that should compete with all the other franchise T20 leagues all over the world.
Based on your experience of other franchise competitions, how important is it to have one in South Africa?
You see what the other leagues do, and the way that local players are developing, and this is what we can do here.
Playing with overseas players and all the Proteas’ international players can only benefit South Africa cricket. It’s going to be a great thing.
How exciting is to be a big part of the Royals brand?
I’ve been fortunate enough to be with the Rajasthan Royals and the Barbados Royals, so I really enjoy their brand and what they bring to their party.
It’s exciting to be playing on home soil for them. I’m chuffed to be part of it.
How can this competition improve the strength and depth of the national team?
All the younger guys will learn a lot quicker with the overseas and domestic national team players and that can only benefit South Africa.
As I mentioned, this is a very competitive league and there are going to be loads of pressure moments. When you put yourself under a lot more pressure, you learn quickly and that’s what we need.
What is the key to winning a franchise competition?
If I look at previous experiences I’ve had, especially winning the most recent IPL, different guys did well throughout the competition.
You’ve obviously got your core players within that, but you need a contribution from the whole squad throughout the campaign.
On top of that, enjoying yourself is crucial. Staying in good spirits and creating a positive environment.
After a fantastic 2022, how much are you enjoying your cricket at the moment?
The last couple of years have been really nice. I’m feeling really comfortable in the space I’m in.
I’ve been playing a long time and I just try to be really consistent in whatever I’m trying to do. Hopefully with the help of the other guys I can go again here.
As an experienced player, do you still feel the same excitement ahead of competitions like this?
Definitely. I love cricket. I wake up in the morning and I want to play.
All the preparation, all the sacrifices that you go through as a player, the rewards are so high when you do well.
That competitive side of it, going up against the best, is what keeps me going.
Which of the talent you’ve signed for Joburg Super Kings are you most excited to work with?
We’ve got a really good squad and there are a lot of players I could mention.
I haven’t played with the likes of Codi Yusuf and Mitch van Buuren, very exciting young players. I’m looking forward to working alongside young guys like them and to guide them through some big performances for the team.
And what about the contingent of overseas players? Will the English players’ experience of winning the World Cup be particularly useful?
Yeah, they’ve been very successful over the last few years.
We’ve got two World Cup-winning captains, Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler, so it would be silly for me not to try and draw from their experiences and enjoy what they have to offer.
I certainly don’t have all the answers as a captain and a player, so to have them on the field to help with decision-making will be huge.
If you could pick one player from an SA20 opponent, who would it be?
Probably Rashid Khan. He’s a class act.