With numerous county players having chosen southern Africa as their cricket-playing destinations for this winter, we take a look at how they have been doing so far for their chosen franchises.
Paul Horton (Lancashire and Matabeleland Tuskers)
2011 County Season: 1099 first-class runs at an average of 37.9.
Horton jetted out to Zimbabwe almost before the dust had settled on Lancashire’s Championship success and it showed. He managed only 24 runs in three innings before returning to England for Lancashire’s trip to Buckingham Palace. He is expected to be back, however, after playing a crucial role in the Tuskers’ Logan Cup success last year and will be joined by Lightning teammate Tom Smith for the Stanbic Twenty20.
Ryan Bishop (Cardiff MCCU and Mashonaland Eagles)
2011 County Season: 59 runs from four innings against county opposition.
The South African-born batsman has performed admirably batting at number three for the Eagles and hit 76 against the Mid West Rhinos just over a week ago. He has 114 runs overall from three innings.
Gary Ballance (Yorkshire and Mid West Rhinos)
2011 County Season: 862 runs at 47.9.
The Zimbabwe-born batsman, who has stated his desire to play for England, has continued where he left off for Yorkshire at the end of September and has scored 470 runs at an average of 94 for the Rhinos as well as captaining them in their most recent outing. His highest score of 210 came against the Southern Rocks in the first match of the Castle Logan Cup campaign.
Riki Wessels (Nottinghamshire and Mid West Rhinos)
2011 County Season: 384 runs at 20.2.
The wicket-keeper batsman, who was a controversial signing for Nottinghamshire at the beginning of 2011, has passed 50 on two occasions so far for the Rhinos and has 168 runs at 42.
Glenn Querl (Unicorns and Matabeleland Tuskers)
2011 County Season: 13 List A wickets at 35.1.
Two matches have already yielded 11 wickets for the Harare-born seam bowler who has now played two seasons for the ECB’s nomadic Unicorns side. His best haul came when he took six for 38 last week against the Rocks.
Adam Wheater (Essex and Matabeleland Tuskers)
2011 County Season: 804 runs at 42.3.
A highest score of 76 and an average of 55.5 are the sum total of Wheater’s efforts so far this winter. The diminutive wicket-keeper featured for the Tuskers last winter and was rewarded with an excellent 2011 season for Essex. He will be hoping for more of the same in 2012.
Liam Dawson (Hampshire and Mountaineers)
2011 County Season: 908 runs at 49.8, three wickets at 77.
Dawson has only played one match for the Mountaineers since his arrival in the country but he certainly made the most of it. He scored an unbeaten 110 in the first innings with the bat before following it up with figures of seven for 51 with the ball to bowl his franchise to victory.
Zander de Bruyn (Surrey and Highveld Lions)
2011 County Season: 1383 runs at 59.8, 13 wickets at 41.
So far the 36 year-old has struggled for fluency in South Africa’s SuperSport Series with scores of 5, 39no, 0, 27, 13, 4 and 62 to his name. The 62 came in the first innings of his side’s ongoing match against the Warriors. With the ball he has taken six wickets at an average of 42.33.
Neil McKenzie (Hampshire and Highveld Lions)
2011 County Season: 1120 runs at 41.48.
De Bruyn’s Lions teammate, Neil McKenzie, has had a much better run to date, with two centuries from his four matches, although he did bag a pair against the Titans. His innings of 170 and 110 not out give him a season aggregate so far of 371 runs at an average of 61.83.
Martin van Jaarsveld (Kent/Leicestershire and Titans)
2011 County Season: 755 runs at 30.2.
Leicestershire’s recent acquisition has also struggled for form so far in the English off-season, with a highest score of 57 not out giving him an overall total of 128 runs at 25.6. The 37 year-old has also taken one wicket with his off-spin.
Alviro Petersen (Glamorgan and Highveld Lions)
2011 County Season: 1069 runs at 42.8, one wicket at 160.
Glamorgan’s former captain and rumoured 2012 Kolpak recruit hit 186 in his first innings of the SuperSport Series and has collected 369 runs in all from seven innings. He also has the wicket of Durham Twenty20 overseas player David Miller to his name.
Jacques Rudolph (Yorkshire and Titans)
2011 County Season: 318 runs at 45.4.
Rudolph is unlikely to play for Yorkshire next year now he is back in the South African Test side but if he did he would only be an asset, as he has hit 568 runs at an average of over 94 so far this winter. His most recent match, where he scored 210 and 87, was surely the deciding factor in him replacing the aforementioned Petersen at the top of South Africa’s batting order.
© Cricket World 2011