It’s a Caribbean invasion

2014-10-28 00:00

THIS Sunday sees the start of the Ram Slam T20 domestic competition, spiced with a distinct West Indian flavour.

Cricket South Africa yesterday announced the overseas signings for the six franchises and bar the Warriors who have England’s Craig Kieswetter joining the ranks, it’s a Caribbean invasion all round.

The Titans have former captain Darren Sammy, the Cobras Kieron Pollard, the Knights Andre Russell, the Lions Chris Gayle and the Dolphins welcome Dwayne Bravo.

Having been let down by Gayle twice previously, the Dolphins have made amends with an astute signing this time around, Bravo an accomplished all-rounder in the T20 game and a vital cog in the Chennai Super Kings’ engine room when it comes to the IPL.

He played for the Super Kings in the recent Champions League in India, meeting the Dolphins in the group matches on his way to helping his side lift the trophy. Jesse Chellan, outgoing CEO in the Dolphins camp, was pleased to have a player of Bravo’s stature in the ranks for the competition.

“He’s a great addition to the squad and I am more than pleased to call him a Dolphin,” said Chellan. “He will add tremendous depth to the team in all departments — batting, bowling and fielding — and he has proven to be a matchwinner many times for the West Indies and the Super Kings.

“He knows how to win and that will be a crucial mindset as the Dolphins attempt to hold on to the trophy they won last season.”

Dolphins captain Morné van Wyk was excited to welcome Bravo to the set-up, giving credit to the Dolphins franchise for making the signing.

“Dwayne brings a world class element to the team and is a player who gives his best regardless of what shirt he pulls over his head,” he said.

“He is a real fighter and never gives up until the final ball or victory has been achieved.

“He enjoys his cricket and this will rub off on others in our team. He brings much to the table and is a big player. For us, it’s about winning the trophy again, not defending it.”

The Ram Slam T20 gets under way this Sunday, November 2, with a triple-header at the Wanderers, which sees all the franchises in action.

The day starts with the Knights taking on the Warriors, followed by the Cobras against the Titans with the Dolphins and Lions rounding off proceedings. Unfortunately, Bravo will only arrive in Durban on Monday, November 3 and will miss the opening clash. He will be available for the Dolphins’ first home clash against the Warriors on Wednesday, November 5.

Former Protea Test captain Graeme Smith, Ram Slam tournament director, said: “The franchises have secured some of the best T20 players in world cricket. In discussions with these players, it has been satisfying to see their eagerness to play in the Ram Slam, which they regard as one of the best cricket leagues in the world.”

Another astute signing would have been Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara, who was destined to join the Lions. He had to withdraw after Sri Lanka agreed to tour India in November.

Dwayne Bravo Twenty20

Matches 214

Runs 3 523

HS 70*

Avg 27,74

SR 124,84 14x50;

Wkts 203

Avg 25,19

SR 18,8

Econ 8,03

Kieron Pollard Twenty20

Matches 248

Runs 4 725

HS 89*

Avg 29,90

SR 153,75 23x50;

Wkts 175

Avg 23,55

SR 17,5

Econ 8,04

Andre Russell Twenty20

Matches 114

Runs 1 408

HS 77*

Avg 22,34

SR 159,63 5x50;

Wkts 67

Avg 35,53

SR 25,1

Econ 8,47

Chris Gayle Twenty20

Matches 185

Runs 6 551

HS 175*

Avg 41,72

SR 146.03 12x100 41x50;

Wkts 67

Avg 31.74

SR 25,2

Econ 7,54

Darren Sammy Twenty20

Matches 133

Runs 1 577

HS 60

Avg 20,48

SR 136,77 2x50;

Wkts 102

Avg 25,93

SR 20,9

Econ 7,42

Craig Kieswetter Twenty20

Matches 114

Runs 3 168

HS 89*

Avg 32,65

SR 123,50 27x50

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