The Sunfoil Dolphins’ Sunfoil Series fixture against the Cape Cobras starting on Thursday, 21 January at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead will represent a historic moment for the Durban based franchise when middle order batsman Khaya Zondo becomes the first black African ever to captain the side.
With regular captain Morné van Wyk still out injured and his brother, and previous stand-in captain, Divan van Wyk out of form with the bat, Zondo is thrilled to take charge of the Dolphins outfit for their all-important Cobras clash.
“It is really big thing for me in my career and I appreciate the opportunity that has been afforded to me to captain the Dolphins,” explained the former Westville Boys’ High School pupil.
“It’s a privilege and an honour to be asked to captain your team – any team that is – because the people in charge believe you can lead your fellow players.
“It’s going to be a good challenge for me but I’m looking forward to it and hopefully I can make a successful one,” added the 26 year-old.
The Dolphins captaincy represents yet another highlight of the 2015/16 season for the Durban born and bred youngster after he was also included in the Proteas’ T20 and ODI squads that toured India in October 2015.
Head coach Lance Klusener is another looking forward to the opportunity Zondo’s appointment presents.
“We’re excited about having Khaya lead the team and he’s extremely excited about that too!” said Klusener.
“He is extremely able and has done it for other teams that he’s played for in the past.
“I think he has come a long way in the last two or three years and is one of those guys that really knows what he wants from cricket and has a good head on him.”
Van Wyk’s poor form sees him make way for KZN Inland left-hander Sarel Erwee in the Dolphins’ 12-man squad for their Cobras assignment while another change sees former Dolphins and Proteas paceman Mthokozisi Shezi – now plying his trade with the Cobras – return to the Dolphins after agreeing to a one match loan deal with the Durban franchise.
Despite a few changes within the squad, the core remains steady and Klusener is eager for his men to put out a more consistent, disciplined performance as they look to improve on their current fifth position on the Sunfoil Series log.
“I’m certainly not happy with the way we’ve batted,” said Klusener. “I don’t think we’ve been hard enough on ourselves when we’ve got in and that’s been a little frustrating.”
“We haven’t scored enough runs in the first innings to get enough bonus points and that’s probably why we are fifth.”
Klusener is however confident his charges can turn things around and still challenge for the four-day competition’s spoils.
“For us to win the competition we need to beat the Titans at least once and probably need to beat the Cobras twice, which is a big ask but it is still possible.
“There aren’t a huge amount of points between us and the four teams above us so one or two wins will sort that out.
“We are going to have to be a bit harder on ourselves though and make sure that when we do get in, we then go on and put a big score on the board.”
Sunfoil Dolphins squad:
Khaya Zondo (Captain), Craig Alexander, Daryn Dupavillon, Sarel Erwee, Imran Khan, Keshav Maharaj, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Mthokozisi Shezi, Daryn Smit, Imran Tahir, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Lance Klusener (Head Coach), Rivash Gobind (Assistant Coach)