Rewards come knocking for Dolphins

2014-02-12 00:00

STILL basking in the glory of their Ram Slam T20 title, the Dolphins players were given another incentive yesterday ahead of the second round of the four-day series competition starting tomorrow.

The Dolphins meet the Warriors at Kingsmead and, having secured a long overdue trophy, have gained favour with their sponsors, the Willowton Group.

Speaking at Kingsmead, CEO of the group Razak Moosa dangled a carrot for the team to up their game in the longer version of events.

“We are so happy to have a trophy back in Durban and I say to the players, we will give them another R500 000 to divide among themselves if they add the Sunfoil Four-Day Series trophy to the cabinet,” he said.

It won’t be easy for the Dolphins, who find themselves fifth on the log with 31,92 points. The Knights top the standings with 41,54 points, just ahead of the Lions on 41,42.

However, the Dolphins have had a complete match called off and rain play havoc with another. In fairness, they have really lost one and won one, the win being in their last match where they demolished the Lions by 358 runs in Potchefstroom, with David Miller scoring a century in each innings.

It’s a change of mindset and team personnel tomorrow, but for the moment, that winning feeling still lingers in the camp.

President of KZNCU Fa-eez Jaffer said, “It’s been an all-round effort from everyone involved with the franchise. There have been some hard words in the boardroom, but it’s paid off. Morné van Wyk has been a pillar of strength with his leadership and experience and it’s encouraging to see many of the players have come through the ranks here from junior cricket.”

And that is an interesting observation. Coach Lance Klusener said it best when he referred to the trophy as “locally made” and indeed it is.

There were no overseas professionals in the Dolphins team, with home-grown talent used throughout the T20 competition to produce the goods. Narrowing it down, there was great representation from Westville Boys’ High School in Khaya Zondo, Robbie Frylinck, Cameron Delport, Glenwood had Prenelen Subrayen, Mthokozisi Shezi and Cody Chetty; Kyle Abbott is a Kearsney old boy and Daryn Smit represented Northwood.

“This was the course we set ourselves at the beginning of the campaign,” said captain Van Wyk.

“We want to be the best franchise in the country, a franchise where players want to play and this is the first step in that journey. It’s a matter of thinking and playing like champions at all levels and we are on course to achieving that. We had a fantastic pre-season and pushed through, particularly in the final. Every player has done something for the cause.”

Every Dolphins player paid tribute to how the unit had worked as a team. They focused on a goal and come hell or high water, they were going to achieve it.

Klusener even speaks with more meaning and confidence, saying, “We are here to win, not come second”.

Yes, the Dolphins have beefed up. They stand tall, they have a sting in the tail. All that’s needed is for the fans and spectators to pay their ultimate respect by supporting them and getting to the stadium, putting bums on seats. It will be worth it.

• In other Dolphins news, chief executive Jesse Chellan announced that overseas signing Graham Onions had left the franchise at the weekend after receiving a call-up for England.

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