Dolphins: Vandiar in, Tahir out

2012-04-11 00:00

THE Dolphins have bolstered their ranks for the 2012/13 season by recruiting top-order batsman Jonathan Vandiar and paceman Craig Alexander from the Highveld Lions, but it is likely that Test leg-spinner Imran Tahir will be leaving Durban.

The Dolphins refused to confirm whether or not Tahir has chosen to further his career with a different franchise.

“All I can say is that I got an e-mail from Tahir’s agent saying that he regards himself as a free agent, which he is. So he can choose which franchise he will play for,” Dolphins chief executive Jesse Chellan told The Witness.

Tahir is a nationally-contracted player and, in effect, can indeed choose where he would like to play next season with the Highveld Lions mooted as Tahir’s likely destination.

The 21-year-old Vandiar, a stylish left-handed batsman, learnt his cricket at DHS in Durban, but moved to the Lions in 2008.

There is no doubting Vandiar’s natural ability and he performed well in the limited-overs competitions last season, averaging 38.75 in the One-Day Cup while he was third on the Lions’ run-scorers’ charts as the Gauteng-based team reached the final of the T20 Challenge.

Alexander’s signing is the one that will raise a few eyebrows. The Dolphins have been looking for a strike bowler with genuine pace, an attribute that the 25-year-old does possess, but he is notoriously injury-prone and was not considered good enough for the Lions’ T20 Challenge squad.

Alexander has taken 174 wickets in 59 first-class matches at an average of 30.9.

“His (Alexander) acquisition provides our bowling unit with more depth and penetration to address our challenge of taking 20 wickets in the four-day competition,” said Chellan.

Wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi and batsmen Devon Conway, Glenn Addicott and Matthew Hulett, who were all contracted last season, will be offered semi-pro contracts.

The Dolphins did not include a list of their national players as they are waiting for Cricket South Africa to confirm the nationally-contracted players.

“This is a youthful squad with immense potential. The new squad is in line with our strategy to develop youngsters into a winning Dolphins team. With the high number of matches affected by the rain, it has been difficult to assess our progress this season, but young players Kyle Abbott, Cody Chetty, Divan van Wyk, Khaya Zondo, David Miller and Mthokozisi Shezi have all produced match-winning performances,” said Chellan.

The Dolphins are still searching for a new head coach with applications for the position closing on April 20. The team hopes to announce the new coach in May.

DOLPHINS SQUAD FOR 2012/13

Kyle Abbott, Craig Alexander, Ahmed Amla, Cody Chetty, Cameron Delport, Robbie Frylinck, Imraan Khan, Keshav Maharaj, David Miller, Dane Paterson, Mthokosizi Shezi, Daryn Smit, Vaughn Van Jaarsveld, Divan Van Wyk, Jonathan Vandiar, Khaya

Zondo

Rookie contract — Prenelan Subrayen

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