Ricochet News

NMBS Global T20 squad makes up fine balance of talent

By Marc Jacobson - Aug 31, 2017
NMBS Global T20 squad makes up fine balance of talent

With the T20 Global League player draft having been finalised on Sunday, the Nelson Mandela Bay Stars’ (NMBS) 18-man squad has been cladded with a fine mix of local, national and international affiliates for the much-anticipated T20 league in November.

As previously known, Proteas’ star spinner, Imran Tahir, was announced as the South African marquee player, while SA-born but English international, Kevin Pietersen, was named as the international marquee player at the player draft.

In a bidding process that covered 16 rounds for drafting players in descending monetary brackets from rounds 1-16, the NMBS did not steer too far away from sifting together some local talent, with five Warriors’ players retained in the mix, namely: captain JJ Smuts, Sisanda Magala, Andrew Birch, Colin Ackermann and Lesiba Ngoepe.

Smuts, who was drafted in the first round by the NMBS, became an overnight millionaire after pocketing R1.755-million in the bidding.

Apart from Pietersen as the international marquee, who is now based in South Africa after retiring from English cricket, the NMBS squad sees three other international players drafted in, namely: Anwar Ali (Pakistan international and Sindh club), Junaid Khan (Pakistan international and Lancashire club) and Dawid Malan (England international and Middlesex club).

Proteas’ promiser who has starred for the Titans over the last season, Aidan Markram, became another overnight millionaire after being drafted in the second bracket; claiming R1.495-million in the bid.

Other national players drafted into the squad were: Heinrich Klaasen (Titans), Heino Kuhn (Titans), Shadley van Schalkwyk (Knights), Sibonelo Makhanya (Dolphins), Wian Lubbe (Lions), Grant Thomson (Easterns) and Ryan Rickleton (Gauteng).

Even for the final two players who were picked in rounds 15 and 16 respectively (Thomson and Rickleton), who have just played semi-professional domestic cricket up until the bid, would have pocketed R130 000 each for the draft – a significant proportion in the context of things.

The NMBS will play their first game against the Durban Qalanders in Durban on November the 4th.  Their first home game at St. Georges Park will be played against the Jo’burg Giants on November the 6th.

Image: The NMBS 'Dream Team' at the team's name revealing, coached by Mark Boucher (middle-right) and owned by Ajay Sethi (middle).