Cape Town – Jacques Kallis is set to play for the Cape Cobras in Sunday’s T20 final at Newlands.
Since his retirement from Test cricket in December last year, Kallis has not played due to a hamstring injury, but the 38-year-old has made himself available for the final.
The all-rounder tweeted yesterday: “Well done to Cobras for making Ram Slam Final. Looking forward to trying to help them win the final on Sunday. Excited to be playing again”.
Even with Kallis in the squad, Cobras coach Paul Adams will have to fill some gaps as JP Duminy, Vernon Philander, Rory Kleinveldt and Robin Peterson are all away with the national Test squad.
In addition, a big loss to the side is West Indies spinner Sunil Narine, who flew home on Monday night.
Adams said: “Sunil has been a massive asset for us this season and he has really made an impact on the domestic scene. However, he needs to go back to the West Indies to play for his home side (Trinidad and Tobago), so we have to respect that.”
In order to qualify for the West Indies national team for the T20 World Cup next month, players have to play in half of the games in their domestic leagues – and, with a match taking place this weekend, the 25-year-old has left to try to secure his place in the side to travel to Bangladesh.
Dane Piedt, who has been a regular for the Cobras in the one-day and four-day tournaments this season, having taken 17 wickets in all, steps into the void left by Narine.
“Piedt has been great for us in the other competitions and he has been part of the squad throughout this tournament,” said Adams.
“Hopefully, he benefited from having experienced guys like Narine and Robbie (Robin Peterson) around, so that he can make the step up now.”
With Kallis and Piedt coming into the squad, Adams will also be looking at players like Shaheen Khan, Dane Paterson, Yaseen Vallie and Sybrand Engelbrecht as potential selections.
“We will need to look at a few things ahead of the game, such as our bowling attack and the batting line-up, before we can make the call on who plays on Sunday. We have a good crop of youngsters looking to prove themselves and, if they get the chance, I am sure they will be able to step up,” said Adams.
The Cobras will find out on Wednesday who their opponents for the final will be, with the Titans travelling to Durban to face the Dolphins in the play-off match.