– Hollywoodbets Dolphins coach Imraan Khan has announced that Quinton Friend will fill the role of bowling coach while current KZN Academy coach Mduduzi Mbatha will take up the role of fielding coach for the upcoming season.
Khan, who took over the reins from Grant Morgan at the Durban franchise recently, will be joined by Friend and Mbatha ahead of another busy season. Khan and Friend’s relationship goes back to them playing together for the Dolphins.
Friend retired from professional cricket in 2016 and moved into the coaching ranks at Free State where he served as the Knights Academy coach as well as the assistant for the Free State provincial side before taking control of the Free State women’s team.
After being approached to take the position at the Dolphins, Friend didn’t hesitate.
“It was a no-brainer for me to take up the position,” he said. “We know that the system is set to change next season but I could not pass up the opportunity to be involved in a franchise set up.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to be involved in a franchise that has so many young, talented players and if we can improve them by 20 percent then we have done a good job.”
With Friend coming into a system that he was a part of as a player he feels that integration will not be an issue.
“I think the big difference is that I spent time at the Dolphins during my career and played with Immy (Khan) as well as some of the players that are still there.
“It will definitely make things easier coming into a familiar environment and I am keen to hit the ground running,” an enthusiastic Friend added.
Also involved in a fielding coach’s capacity will be Dolphins Academy coach Mdudusi Mbatha.
Following his move from Northerns, the former Durban High School pupil has been involved in the Dolphins set-up from a fielding perspective when Morgan was in charge.
He guided the Hollywoodbets Dolphins Cubs side to their first national title in 2018 so he knows what it takes to win a title.
Mbatha is looking forward to following a passion of his and trying to upskill the players when it comes to the crucial aspect of fielding.
“I have a million ideas when it comes to drills, techniques etc. and I cannot wait to use that on improving the quality of fielding here at the Dolphins,” Mbatha said.
“There are not many fielding specialists left these days and I think that it is an opportunity for me to move into that space and I am looking forward to sharing my passion with the players.
“I want the guys to be confident in the field and to enjoy it because it is such a big part of the game.”
CEO of KZN Cricket Heinrich Strydom believes that they have settled on the best possible coaching unit.
“We have deliberated extensively on the best way forward, and we are positive that we have put together a coaching team that will be able to create an environment for our players to flourish this upcoming season.”