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CSA announce Division Two squads for next season

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Cricket South Africa (CSA), together with the seven Division 2 provincial teams, is pleased to reveal the final squads for the 2021/22 season.

This follows the finalisation of the Division 1 rosters last week.

KwaZulu-Natal (Inland), Border, South Western Districts, Easterns, Northern Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga will all feature in the second tier of domestic cricket.

Under the new structure, the six-team franchise system that had been in existence for 17 years has been dissolved and replaced by a 15-team first-class format.

The set-up sees the teams split 8-7 into the two divisions, which will remain the same for the first two years, before an automatic promotion and relegation system commences.

The teams and their positioning in the new domestic cricket structure were finalised early last month when an Independent Evaluation Committee (IEC) revealed the look of the new South African cricket landscape following a bidding process that was open to all the unions.

“Cricket South Africa is happy to confirm that the contracting process for players is now complete for all 15 teams,” CSA Acting Chief Executive Officer, Pholetsi Moseki, stated. “As we scan through the squads for Division Two, we can see that they are all very evenly matched.

“It will now boil down to who can settle quickest as a unit and hit the ground running when the new season starts later in the year. That will be the challenge for all the teams.”

The Division 2 squads are littered with some of the most promising young players in the country mixed with veterans of semi-pro ranks.

As one of the strongest teams in provincial cricket over the last five years, KZNI have stuck with most of the players that brought them success, whilst also adding the experience of Cameron Delport and Keith Dudgeon to their list of signees.

KZNI CEO Heinrich Strydom said: “All KZN Inland stakeholders are excited about the challenges and opportunities that will come with the new structure. KZN Inland has been integral to the success of the KZN Cricket Union over the past few years and will look to continue to strive for excellence. We are excited to have assembled a strong squad that will be able to challenge for a Division One spot in the near future.”

Situated in one of the hotbeds of the cricket pipeline, Border’s squad is made up of some exciting young local talent, together with experience such as local boys Marco Marais and Alice-born Jerry Nqolo.

Border CEO Andile Mxenge said: “We feel we have put together a balanced squad that will compete well in our division and also have the capacity to make a success of next season. On the whole, we are looking at the picture and readying ourselves for the future, so we opted to have a combination of players that can help us challenge for a spot in the top division in a few years.”

Onke Nyaku, Yaseen Valli, André Malan and Marcello Piedt will be four players that SWD will be relying on heavily in the new structure. The trio will bring experience to an otherwise relatively fresh-looking team that will play out of Oudtshoorn.

SWD CEO Albertus Kennedy said: “As we narrowly missed out on a place in Division One following the bid process, we put a squad together with the purpose of taking us to promotion and beyond. It is a squad that makes provision for local talent and newly-recruited players to fill some of the gaps that we felt needed plugging and overall, we are excited and looking forward to next season.”

Grant Thompson, Matthew Arnold, Sizwe Masondo and Khwezi Gumede will be the big names to look out for at Easterns next season. The quartet help complete an impressive list of players that have been assembled in Benoni.

Easterns Acting CEO Berrelyn Platt said: “Eastern Cricket is excited that we have managed to secure at least 80 percent of our previous season’s squad, who brought the union much success. The challenge of wanting to achieve Division One status is an added motivation for this squad which boasts seasoned experience players, coupled with a group of exciting young talent. We believe the squad is well balanced. The upcoming season is going to be a blast.”

The name of Rivaldo Moonsamy highlights the impressive Northern Cape roster, which also includes the vastly experienced Jonathan Vandiar and Aubrey Swanepoel, together with Kagisho Mohale, Andrew Rasamene and Bafana Mahlangu.

NC CEO Eugene Jacobs said: “Northern Cape Cricket is extremely proud to be playing as a mainstream province in South Africa’s new domestic structure. The squad that was assembled is one that includes Northern Cape faithfuls as well as experienced players whose objectives are to play in the top division. These players are aware that they are playing for more than just winning, they are representing all the cricketers and people of our proud province.”

One of the biggest signings for Limpopo is Sithembile Langa, who will be expected to play a key role in the new term. The fast bowler is part of an exciting young team for the province.

Limpopo CEO Tommy Phiri said: “I believe we have done well in acquiring the players that we have. Our target is to compete better in professional cricket and strive for first-class cricket status because if we look at our recent history, we have done well in the shorter formats. So, we are quite excited and looking forward to the new season.

Rubin Hermann and Yassar Cook are two of the names that stand out for a Mpumalanga side that is also looking forward to the challenge that the new domestic structure brings.

Mpumalanga CEO Jaco Visagie said: “The process of putting together a competitive squad was challenging taking into account that we can only contract eleven players. We do feel that we covered all our bases. We tried to stay loyal to local players as well as players that have represented us before. The additions will definitely assist us in reaching our goals. We would like to welcome all players into the Rhino Reserve.”

The full list of Division 2 squads for the 2021/22 season is:

KwaZulu-Natal (Inland): Cameron Delport, Tshepang Dithole, Keith Dudgeon, Michael Erlank, Tian Koekemoer, Kurtlyn Mannikam, Andile Mogakane, Thula Ngcobo, Zac Paruk, Luke Schlemmer, Cameron Shekleton.

Border: Marco Marais, Phaphama Fojela, Thomas Kaber, Gideon Peters, Nonelela Yikha, Jerry Nqolo, Clayton Bosch, Joshua van Heerden, Jason Niemand, Mncedisi Malika, Sean Jamison.

South Western Districts: Jean du Plessis, Hanno Kotze, Renaldo Meyer, Sintu Majiza, Jhedli van Briesies, Marcello Piedt, Andre Malan, Blayde Capell, Yaseen Valli, Onke Nyaku, Sean Whitehead.

Easterns: Grant Thompson, Matthew Arnold, Sizwe Masondo, Tumelo Simelani, Jurie Snyman, Sinehlanhla Zwane, Ryan Cartwright, Wesley Coulentianos, Clayton August, Khwezi Gumede, TBC.

Northern Cape: Aubrey Swanepoel, Beyers Swanepoel, Ernest Kemm, Kagisho Mohale, Andrew Rasamene, Evan Jones, Rivaldo Moonsamy, Jonathan Vandiar, Bafana Mahlangu, Isaac Dikgale, Johan van Dyk.

Limpopo: Ludwig Kaestner, Bruce Shiburi, Morne Venter, Thomas Hobson, Amir Bux, Michael Mahlaba, Don Radebe, Nyiko Shikwambana, Sithembile Langa, Thami Rapelego, Mtambozuko Ngam.

Mpumalanga: Glen Adams, Yassar Cook, Rubin Hermann, Jon Hinrichsen, Luvuyo Knese, Alex Kok, Tumelo Koto, Liam Peters, Blake Schraader, Benjamin van Niekerk, Bamanye Xenxe.