JOHANNESBURG – For the Jozi Stars, holding onto eight members of last year’s victorious Mzansi Super League squad was a “no brainer”.
With the team’s new coach, Donovan Miller, dialing in from England, where is still working with the home team in the Ashes series as part of the back-room staff, it was left to assistant coach Wandile Gwavu to fill in six names on the Stars’ squad sheet at yesterday’s draft, held at the Walter Sisulu Square in Soweto.
“We won the competition, and the bulk of those players were vital in us building a very good change-room environment. It was a no-brainer,” said Gwavu about the reason the Stars retained eight players from last season, the most retentions among the six teams for this year’s MSL, which starts on November 8.
It’s hard to argue. Rassie van der Dussen and Reeza Hendricks were among the leading run-scorers in the inaugural competition, while Kagiso Rabada and Duanne Olivier formed a potent new ball attack. Chris Gayle returns as the overseas marquee player keen to make up for not fulfilling his full contract last year when he had to leave early following the death of his mother.