Bopara may stay on with Dolphins

2010-12-13 00:00

THE England ODI squad named over the weekend was largely predictable, but there was one notable omission from a KZN perspective.

Ravi Bopara’s credentials at the top of the order were deemed surplus to requirements by the England and Wales Cricket Board, which is a strong indication that the slightly built Bopara will miss out on World Cup selection next year.

The KZN Dolphins, who had penned a deal with Bopara that was up to the end of next week’s SuperSport Series assignment in Paarl, will now surely move to secure his services for the rest of the season.

Coach Graham Ford had indicated from the start of the Englishman’s stint that if he was available, they would like to keep his services for the Standard Bank Pro20 Series, which starts in February.

Bopara has grown immensely in terms of influence since he arrived at Kingsmead, and with the loss of Loots Bosman to injury, Hashim Amla (World Cup duty) and possibly David Miller (World Cup), Bopara’s performance at the crease may well be crucial to the Dolphins’ cause.

He has already shown his worth in the MTN40 campaign, where he regularly starred with bat and ball. There have also been rave reviews from the change-room with regard to his willingness to advise and guide his less experienced team-mates. So even though the circumstances around his availability may not be ideal, the Dolphins will be just thrilled that a window has opened up.

A successful run in the Pro20 Series means a whole lot more these days.

If the Dolphins can find their way to the final, they will also secure passage to the money-spinning Champions League, which is growing in importance every year.

The Dolphins are back in action this week, as they visit the Cape Cobras in a SuperSport Series match from Thursday in Paarl.

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