The South African cricket world is abuzz with excitement after former English international Kevin Pietersen jetted into Durban on Wednesday evening ahead of his five match stint with the Sunfoil Dolphins during the upcoming RAM Slam T20 Challenge.
Having been schooled at Maritzburg College, played club cricket for Berea Rovers and made his first class debut for province, the global batting sensation returns to a place he holds fondly in his heart and is looking forward to contributing as best he can.
“I always get an exciting feeling flying back into to South Africa whether it’s for a holiday or to work,” said Pietersen.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun and a lot of hard work because I set myself high standards and from the quality that was at training, it is quite an exciting bunch of young guys so hopefully we can get some positive results and I can help on the field, off the field and do whatever I can to help create some sort of a buzz,” he added.
Pietersen, who played two first class matches for the Sunfoil Dolphins in October 2010, will get his first taste of the South African domestic T20 competition on Sunday when the men from Durban take on The Unlimited Titans and the powerful right hander is pleased with where his game is.
“I know exactly what I need to get myself ready for whenever I play; it’s just about getting feet moving.”
“It counts for nothing in the nets but I’ve always been a hard worker and cricket is everything to me, my batting is everything to me!” said Pietersen.
Despite Pietersen only being available for the first half of the competition, Sunfoil Dolphins CEO Pete de Wet unveiled on Wednesday that West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo will return to Durban during the second half of the tournament for his second stint with the franchise.
“Dwayne has become one of the top performing all-rounders in T20 cricket in recent years and to have him return to our setup for the second five games of the RAM Slam T20 Challenge is something we’re extremely pleased with,” said De Wet.
“Dwayne has toured South Africa with the West Indian side and represented the Sunfoil Dolphins in the same competition last season and so we look forward to his familiarity with the both the environment and our squad contributing to a strong contribution from him with both bat and ball,” he added.
The Sunfoil Dolphins have chosen a thirteen man squad for their match against The Unlimited Titans which takes place at 14h30 on Sunday, 1 November at SuperSport Park Centurion.
Together with Pietersen’s arrival, captain Morné van Wyk returns to the squad after overcoming a wrist injury that saw him miss a portion of the Momentum One Day Cup while David Miller, Kyle Abbott and Khaya Zondo – all returning after their time with the Proteas in India – add great strength and experience.
Fans are also reminded to get their tickets from www.ticketpro.co.za for the Sunfoil Dolphins home games at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead against the bizbub Highveld Lions and the Warriors on Wednesday 4 and Sunday 8 November respectively.
For the second year running, all South African citizens also stand a chance of winning a share of R1million should they catch a ‘six’ one-handed and cleanly at any televised RAM Slam T20 Challenge match this season (Ts & Cs apply).
Sunfoil Dolphins squad:
Morne van Wyk (captain), Kyle Abbott, Craig Alexander, Cody Chetty, Cameron Delport, Rabian Engelbrecht, Keshav Maharaj, David Miller, Ayavuya Myoli, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kevin Pietersen, Prenelan Subrayen, Khaya Zondo, Lance Klusener (coach), Rivash Gobind (assistant coach), Brett Edwards (Physiotherapist)