Sunfoil Dolphins spinners Keshav Maharaj and Prenelan Subrayen are relishing the opportunity afforded to them by Cricket South Africa after being named as part of a 14-man squad of emerging spinners and batsmen that will attend a camp in Mumbai, India from 14-21 May.
Under the guidance of three time Test-capped left-arm orthodox bowler Nilesh Kulkarnie – who, after making his debut for Mumbai in 1994/95, enjoyed a domestic career that spanned 16 years and saw him claim 357 First Class wickets – Maharaj and Subrayen aim to further refine their craft.
Dane Piedt and George Linde (both Cape Cobras), Simon Harmer (Warriors), Aaron Phangiso and Bjorn Fortuin (both bizhub Highveld Lions) and Tshepo Ntuli (VKB Knights) are the spinners joining Maharaj and Subrayen on the trip.
“It promises to be another really good learning experience and I will try to gain as much knowledge and skill as possible whilst I’m there,” said Maharaj, who has enjoyed a similar learning opportunity previously while having also represented the Sunfoil Dolphins at the Champions League and South Africa ‘A’ in India before.
While the past two seasons have seen Maharaj grow into a Dolphins regular and key contributor in all three formats of the game, suspensions, due to faults with his action, have meant Subrayen has been forced to watch from the sidelines for much of the side’s recent campaigns.
The former South Africa Under-19 player was however cleared to bowl once more in March after much hard work and rehabilitation to his action.
“Subs (Subrayen) and I work really well together and we put in a lot of hours in training together this past season as I was trying to keep improving my game whilst he was working really hard on getting his action sorted out,” said Maharaj.
“It’s really good to see that he is still on CSA’s radar and being given an opportunity like this!”
On the batting front, emerging national and franchise batsmen Temba Bavuma (bizhub Highveld Lions), Stiaan van Zyl and Dane Vilas (both Cape Cobras) as well as Reeza Hendricks (VKB Knights) will look to hone their game in sub-continental conditions when they work closely with former Indian domestic batting sensation Amol Muzumdar.
Muzumdar, who was a schoolmate of Sachin Tendulkar, notched up 11 167 First Class runs in India domestically and becoming one of the leading run scorers in the Ranji Trophy’s history however was never selected for India.
The camp also comes as an opportunity for KwaZulu-Natal’s Smangaliso Nhlebela to experience India for the first time in his career after he and Limpopo’s Hector Ngobeni were selected for the trip on the back of their performances for their respective Franchise Academies.
“I have always rated Smanga (Nhlebela) as a bowler and a lower order batsman so it is nice for CSA to have recognized him,” said Maharaj.
“It will also be a completely new experience for him with him having never been to the sub-continent before, so it will be great for not only his bowling and batting but his career as a whole as well!”
The group will be accompanied on the trip by CSA batting consultant, HD Ackerman and CSA spin bowling consultant, Claude Henderson.