Van Wyk takes over to lead Dolphins

2013-05-22 00:00

FORMER Knights captain and Proteas wicketkeeper Morné van Wyk (33) has been named as captain of the Dolphins for the coming season, replacing Daryn Smit, who piloted the ship last season.

Smit said that he had been aware of the decision for the past few weeks and although disappointed, he knew it was for the benefit of the team.

Said Smit: “Initially, I was a bit shocked and felt let down. It was an honour and privilege to captain the team and I would have liked another season at the helm.

“It’s tough to be told you have done a good job and nothing wrong, yet be asked to step down.”

Looking at the bigger picture though, Smit said he had accepted the decision and had met with Van Wyk to discuss the situation.

“Morné did feel bad as he had originally been signed as a batsman who could contribute big runs,” added Smit.

“He was to contribute in a leadership role and was surprised to get the captaincy role. However, I have promised him more than 100% support and have spoken to the rest of the players, telling them to commit to the same.”

Van Wyk, who has played all his cricket for Free State after making his debut in 1996/97, brings leadership, captaincy and the ability to win trophies to the Dolphins set up.

Dolphins coach Lance Klusener said: “Morné brings a wealth of experience on and off the field and we feel we need to tap into what he can offer going forward.

“I thank Daryn for his leadership and an outstanding job in trying conditions last season.

“The coming season allows him to continue to grow in a less pressurised environment.”

Van Wyk was excited and thankful for the opportunity.

“This is an opportunity for me to contribute to the Dolphins with my experience and skills.

“I want to bring a positive influence to the team and look forward to working with the coach and squad. I am confident we will grow as a team and achieve in the coming season,” said Van Wyk.

Jesse Chelin, CEO of KZN Cricket, said Van Wyk’s appointment strengthened the leadership in a young squad.

“With assistance from senior players such as Smit and others, we look forward with confidence to the new season. The challenge is to produce a better team effort when the pressure is on,” he said.

As far as being wicketkeeper, Smit said he had been assured by Klusener and Chelin that he would still be an integral part of the team’s leadership and retain the keeping duties.

“I have been given a vote of confidence by both these role-players that I will still be the man behind the stumps,” he said.

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