DURBAN – Dolphins captain Morne van Wyk believes that ending their eight-year trophy drought over the weekend was the “first step” in a long journey towards turning the franchise into one of the strongest in South African cricket.
The Durban side beat the Cape Cobras in a see-saw encounter by two runs to clinch the domestic T20 Challenge title in front of a full house at Newlands, in Cape Town, on Sunday.
“It's a proud time at the union for everyone,” the veteran wicketkeeper said told a celebratory press conference on Tuesday. “We set out to be the best team and best franchise in the country. That is the bar we want to set ourselves.
“This is only the first step in that journey. I believe we have a lot more in us. It's the first time we've been in that situation and I expect us to become more accustomed to it.
“I think now that we've had the taste, it's something we'll agree we want a little bit more of.”
The Dolphins ended the regular season in second place and had to come through a play-off against the Titans to reach the main event, which also brought with it qualification for the Champions League Twenty20 Ä the top two domestic sides play in the lucrative event.
In the final, the Cobras ended 144 for seven from their 20 overs, in response to the target of 147 set by the visitors. The Dolphins had not won a franchise competition since current coach Lance Klusener captained them to the four-day title in 2005/2006.
“The last thing we want is to have to wait this long for our next success,” Van Wyk said.
“We need to stay the course. I think the thing that makes me most proud is that it has been a team effort and you can name anyone member of our squad, I'll give you a key contribution he has made.
“So we need to adopt this mentality from the junior levels up, to think like champions and to be champions and to make sure this is only the start.”
Van Wyk played down his own impact on the team after joining the Dolphins from the Knights at the start of this season. He was given the captaincy by Klusener and has led from the front.
“I think credit should go to the team for the way they responded to my appointment and how they accepted me,” he added.
“I was the new guy and I guess it's tough to say what kind of difference I made.
“I think this journey started last year when Lance took over. He turned a lot of the negatives around and there are now plenty of positives.
“I've been fortunate enough to have been part of successful teams in the past, recipes that worked and these are things I put on the table. Credit to the guys for embracing it.” – Sapa