The Joburg Super Kings skipper discusses why the SA20 is so important and reveals which of the overseas talent in the competition he is most excited by.
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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 awesome that it’s finally here, I think we’ve been waiting for this product for a while.
Even when we had a T20 tournament in South Africa before, we could see that the standard was good. It’s really exciting to take it to a new level now and for the world to see a little bit more of South Africa.
There is also great talent coming to the tournament from overseas. I think that’s the best thing about it all, that international players will be on show.
Based on your experience of other franchise competitions, how important is it to have one in South Africa?
I think it’s almost a non-negotiable in today’s cricket. It’s become such an important aspect of today’s T20 and the fact that we have a competition now that will pull all these international stars is tremendous.
It gives younger guys the opportunity to rub shoulders with the best players in the world, it will fast-track their learning and it will make the domestic system stronger.
How exciting is to be a big part of the Super Kings brand?
Yeah, it’s great. I think I’ve done 11 years with the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL so I’ve got a great relationship with them.
Now that they can come to my part of the world, it’s great to link up with them.
How can this competition improve the strength and depth of the national team?
It’s really important. You want to try and make a bigger pool of cricketers available for the national team.
You need a healthy competition of players playing at a higher level, higher than the domestic game we currently have in South Africa. I think certainly for white-ball cricketers in this country, this is a huge moment.
What is the key to winning a franchise competition?
Well, I’m not going to give them all away!
The tactical element of T20 is so important now. Your fate can be decided by how well or poorly you execute the tactical side of the game.
Putting a team together is crucial, too. A big part of franchise cricket is understanding conditions on a game-to-game basis, understanding the opposition, and working out the best way to structure your team to win each game.
How important has the Big Bash been in getting sharp for this competition after a long break?
Really important. Obviously, I’m not playing international cricket anymore, so I’m finding other avenues of playing cricket.
I’m currently playing five franchise T20 tournaments all over the world so that’s my way of trying to stay busy and trying to keep being competitive.
As the oldest of the six captains, do you still feel the same excitement ahead of competitions like this?
Yeah, that’s why I’m still playing. I’m still enjoying it as much as when I was playing for South Africa, even as much as when I started playing the game. That’s the most important thing.
While I still feel that level of enjoyment, I think I can keep it going as long as I want to.
Which of the talent you’ve signed for Joburg Super Kings are you most excited to work with?
I think Alzarri Joseph, who plays for the West Indies, has got some real raw pace. I’m really excited to see what he can do on South African pitches.
It was obviously disappointing to lose Harry Brook, who was a big part of our specialist batting unit. But we’ve got enough talent to cover that.
If you could pick one player from an SA20 opponent, who would it be?
Rashid Khan. He’s so experienced and is a banker with his leg-spin.