Pietermaritzburg – Cameron Delport joins the Hollywoodbets KZN Inland squad for the upcoming season, with the squad announcement this week revealing that the Pietermaritzburg-based side goes into the new season with a strong mix of youth and experience.
The new domestic structure will see the Inland team fight it out in Division 2 with the likes of South Western Districts, Border, Easterns, Northern Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
Inland retained the services of Luke Schlemmer, Kurtlyn Mannikam, Cameron Shekleton and Thula Ngcobo as previous squad members, however they have also brought in some players with previous franchise experience.
The big name amongst their squad is Cameron Delport. The hard-hitting left-handed opening batsman has been plying his trade around the world in the various T20 leagues and will offer Inland vital white ball experience.
Inland have also dipped into the Hollywoodbets Dolphins pool and acquired the services of Keith Dudgeon, Michael Erlank and Andile Mogakane – all players who have franchise cricket experience and were part of the various Dolphins campaigns this past season.
Amongst the players coming into the squad, Tshepang Dithole makes a return to the province where he started his professional career while Zac Paruk makes the journey up the N3 after years with the KZN Coastal side.
Also included in the squad is all-rounder Tian Koekemoer who joins the squad from Eastern Province and brings with him a strong domestic record.
KZN Inland’s Cricket Services Manager Jason Sathiaseelan is looking forward to a strong campaign from the new squad.
“We are very happy with the make-up of our squad and we think that the blend of youth and experience is going to be crucial for us,” Sathiaseelan said. “The new faces that have come in are going to give the squad a fresh new feel which is something that always brings excitement.”
Having a player like Cameron Delport with over 160 domestic games and nearly 250 T20 caps is crucial in guiding the younger players in the squad.
“To have a player like Cameron commit to the side for the whole season across all formats is a huge bonus. His experience and talent on our Maritzburg Oval wicket is going to be very important for us this season.
“The goal is obviously to gain promotion to Division 1 after two seasons and we feel we have got a side that can get us there.
“To the players that we haven’t been able to contract, we thank you for your service to Inland cricket and the Inland Cricket family.”
The CEO of KZN Cricket Heinrich Strydom understands the importance of KZN Inland and knows that hopes that this squad of players can deliver on the goal of joining the country’s best provinces in the top tier of domestic cricket.
“KZN Inland has played a vital part in the success of the KZN Cricket Union over the past few years and we will continue to harness the positive relationship between KZN Coastal and KZN Inland.
“An exciting journey lies ahead of us, with the ultimate aim of achieving promotion to Division One.
“I have no doubt that we have assembled the squad to achieve exactly that.”
Hollywoodbets KZN Inland Contracted Squad
Cameron Delport, Tshepang Dithole, Keith Dudgeon, Michael Erlank, Tian Koekemoer, Kurtlyn Mannikam, Andile Mogakane, Thula Ngcobo, Zac Paruk, Luke Schlemmer, Cameron Shekleton.