Durban – Twenty-five-year-old top-order batsman Wesley Marshall will replace Rob Frylinck in the Durban Heat squad for the upcoming Mzansi Super League after the veteran seamer was selected to play in the T10 tournament in Abu Dhabi.
Marshall shone in the recent CSA Provincial T20 Cup where he helped Easterns to their first triumph in the competition.
The hard-hitting opener bashed 87 in the final and followed that up with some impressive scores in first class cricket, most recently a 98 in the second innings of the Titans' clash with the Knights.
Speaking from the Bloemfontein airport on Friday, Marshall knew that there was a chance he could be selected for the MSL if he put in some good performances in during the domestic T20 competition.
"When I got the call from Heinrich (Strydom) I was pretty lost for words to be honest," Marshall said.
"During the competition talk in the change room was that if you did well and put your hand up there was always that chance that you could get that wild card position.
"I did as much as I could and wasn't picked initially but I am unbelievably excited to be involved in the MSL and want to learn as much as I can."
He will join a squad that includes the likes of England’s Alex Hales and Ravi Bopara, experienced South African T20 star David Miller as well as former Protea Kyle Abbott. To have players like these around him and a coach like Gary Kirsten Marshall believes he can only benefit.
"It is unbelievable to see the players that we have and to have a coach like Gary Kirsten is a dream come true," he said.
"I cannot wait to meet up with the rest of the squad this weekend and see how we go in the competition."
CEO of KZN Cricket Heinrich Strydom was disappointed to lose Frylinck but is excited about what Marshall brings to the table.
"He was one of the standout batsmen during the CSA Provincial T20 and although it’s tough losing such an experienced player in Robbie, to be able to replace him with an explosive batsman is exciting.
"We have made sure that we have all our bases covered across the pitch and Wesley will just add another exciting string to our bow."
The Durban Heat get their Mzansi Super League campaign underway with a home game at Kingsmead against the Tshwane Spartans on Saturday, November 9 at 12:30.
Durban Heat squad:
Andile Phehlukwayo, Alex Hales, David Miller (retained player), Dane Vilas, Ravi Bopara, Keshav Maharaj (retained player), Kyle Abbott (retained player), Khaya Zondo (retained player), Marco Jansen, Daryn Dupavillon, Sarel Erwee (retained player), Malusi Siboto, Prenelan Subrayen, Wihan Lubbe, Shaun von Berg, Wesley Marshall
- Cricket South Africa