SA’s Under-19 star ready for franchise cricket

2014-03-25 17:26

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Young Highveld Lions paceman and member of the winning Under-19 World Cup team, Kagiso Rabada, says he is ready to make the step-up to franchise cricket.

The 19-year-old will make his franchise debut for the Highveld Lions who will face the Dolphins in their penultimate Sunfoil Series fixture at Kingsmead.

The match starts on Thursday but the Lions are out of the running with the Dolphins still in with a remote chance of winning their first four-day trophy since the 2005/06 season.

The Dolphins are third on 71.96 points, 27.18 points behind log leaders and defending champions Cape Cobras. They are closely followed by the Knights who are on 94 points.

The Lions are a lowly fifth in the six-team competition with only two wins from eight matches.

In their last match, they were on the receiving end of a 174-run hammering from the Warriors in Port Elizabeth two weeks ago.

“I am ready and if I was not, I don’t think I would have been picked. I do know that it is a higher level of cricket and the margin for error is now even smaller,” Rabada said.

“I am happy though and I am taking it as the next step in my career. I know I still have a long way to go but coach Geoffrey Toyana told me that I must enjoy the moment. I am going to do what I have always been doing.”

Toyana said the time was ripe for him to give some of his youngsters a run, especially with nothing to gain from what has been an unrewarding season.

“We’ve faded badly so there’s no way that we can get near the Cobras or the Knights. It’s been a tough season for us so I’m just asking for the guys to finish strong,” Toyana said in a statement.

“I might give some of the young players an opportunity this week and see what we have for the future. The big find will be Rabada, who will come through this week and we can see what the young man can do for us.”

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