Past games don’t count as Dolphins stand up

2012-11-02 00:00

DOLPHINS skipper Daryn Smit has emphasised the importance of club cricket as his players search for valuable playing time ahead of Sunday’s opening Momentum One-Day clash against the Cobras at

Pietermaritzburg Oval.

He singled out middle-order batsman Vaughn van Jaarsveld who, turning out for Crusaders this past weekend, gave his confidence a huge shot of belief with an undefeated 121 against Rovers.

Said Van Jaarsveld: “I needed that. I’ve been a bit short of runs this season in the four-day competition and Sunday’s ton was just what I needed to get me going ahead of the 50-over campaign. It’s a matter of carrying that form and ability within the Dolphins ranks and ensure it benefits the team.”

Smit said it was vital the Dolphins players gave back to their clubs and honoured their positions and esteem at that level.

“That’s where it starts for all the players, being consistent and making a name at club level. It’s an important cog in furthering a cricketer’s career and I am proud to say all the players turned out last weekend for their respective clubs.

“Look, not getting much game time in the four-day series due to the weather, the guys were keen to play and just tune in again with what goes on in the middle. Lance [Klusener] and myself have highlighted this to the players, calling on them to play at club level whenever the opportunity arises. Obviously, with a tight one-day cup schedule, playing at venues around the country every few days, the guys might be a little weary at times, but that’s understandable. The bottom line is, they appreciate the value of club cricket and play when they can,” he said.

All Smit and his men desire is for the rain to abate and allow them to get out the blocks for Sunday’s match. Looking at the Dolphins season to date, Smit said: “We started well in the four-day competition and being fourth on the log is an injustice to the brand of cricket we are playing. We could, if the weather had played ball, be at the top of the log or close to that.

“It’s like we have been robbed and it’s made us more determined to prove a point in the 50-over game. That is if the weather comes to the party. We have had more than our fair share of rain and would actually like to play some cricket this season.”

An indication of how serious Smit is in making the Dolphins stand up and be noticed on the domestic cricket front is reflected in his views on the players in his team. “We all have a part to play and every game starts from nought, no matter how good you were last time around. No player relies on reputation and we live in the present, dealing with the current situation and playing for the team,” he said.

For Sunday’s match, Lonwabo Tsotsobe is expected to make his anticipated Dolphins debut, adding another dimension and vital experience to the bowling attack.

Said Smit: “It’s not only what he offers us with the ball, but his influence in the change room has a massive effect on the players, especially the youngsters. This match is a test for the Cobras to see what their back-up players can produce and as defending champs, they will want to keep the bit between their teeth. It’s the first game of the competition, there’s no form to go on and we just want to do enough to take the win and show we mean business in wanting a trophy back at Kingsmead.”

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