Fired up Abbott excited to be back in Durban

Kyle Abbott (Gallo)
Kyle Abbott (Gallo)

Durban - Kyle Abbott will form a crucial cog in the Durban Heat's bowling line-up for the upcoming Mzansi Super League, a challenge that the experienced campaigner is looking forward to.

The tournament, which gets underway for the Heat at home on Sunday, November 18, will see some of the country's best players, as well as some of the best international players, go head-to-head.

READ: R10 million up for grabs in Mzansi Super League

Abbott, who spent a large part of his career at the Dolphins, has a number of significant memories of the ground and the people that he played with him when he was part of the Durban side.

"Kingsmead has always been home for me and it always will be," Abbott said. "There are a lot of memories of Kingsmead including winning a semi-final with the Dolphins in the T20 competition but also hitting the winning runs in an international T20 against Australia.

"But to have played a Boxing Day Test at Kingsmead against England definitely stands out as it was something that I would always come and watch as a child," said the born-and-bred KwaZulu-Natal seamer.

"We would trek down from Zululand to watch the Boxing Day Test so that is one of the memories that really significant for me. Especially having the whole family here supporting me made it that much more special."

With eight players in the Durban Heat squad who either play for the Dolphins or have played for them in the past, it shows the faith that the coaching staff have in the locally raised players.

Having been involved in a number of drafts in the past Abbott knew that the best way was to just let the event happen and see the outcome at a later stage.

"I was away actually during the draft and had my phone off!" he said. "But to be picked up by your home team was pretty special and although I just wanted to get picked I was always hoping that I was going to be coming to Durban."

The Kearsney College old boy, who now spends a lot of his time playing in the United Kingdom for Hampshire, has also been involved in a number of T20 tournaments around the world and the side will be looking to draw on his experience.

"T20 cricket is so interesting in that with the ebbs and flows you are never too in it but you are never quite out of it at the same time," said Abbott.

"I think what I have drawn on in the past couple of years is just trying to stay calm in those pressure situations.

"Staying calm for me is the most important thing. Just have a clear focus and make sure that you execute your plans as simply as possible," Abbott added.

With the likes of young seamers Okuhle Cele and Tladi Bokako in the squad, Abbott, along with Vernon Philander, Albie Morkel and Marchant de Lange, will be the guiding lights for the two exciting young seamers.

The Durban Heat's first game is a home clash with the Cape Town Blitz at Kingsmead Cricket Stadium on Sunday, November 18.

Tickets can be purchased at www.ticketpro.co.za

Durban Heat Fixtures:

Nov 18 - 11:00 Durban Heat v Cape Town Blitz Kingsmead, Durban
Nov 21 - 14:00 Durban Heat v Tshwane Spartans Kingsmead, Durban
Nov 23 - 19:00 Nelson Mandela Giants v Durban Heat St George's, Port Elizabeth
Nov 28 - 19:00 Durban Heat v Paarl Rocks Kingsmead, Durban
Nov 30 - 19:00 Jozi Stars v Durban Heat Bidvest Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Dec 2 - 11:00 Paarl Rocks v Durban Heat Eurolux Boland Park, Paarl
Dec 5 - 19:00 Durban Heat v Nelson Mandela Giants Kingsmead, Durban
Dec 7 - 14:00 Durban Heat v Jozi Stars Kingsmead, Durban
Dec 9 - 15:30 Cape Town Blitz v Durban Heat PPC Newlands, Cape Town
Dec 12 - 19:00 Tshwane Spartans v Durban Heat SuperSport Park, Centurion

Durban Heat Squad:

Hashim Amla, Rashid Khan, David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen, Kyle Abbott, Keshav Maharaj, Khaya Zondo, Albie Morkel, Marchant de Lange, Vernon Philander, Brandon Mavuta, Temba Bavuma, Morné van Wyk, Okuhle Cele, Sarel Erwee, Tladi Bokako

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