Rory Kleinveldt (right) in the colours of the Cape Cobras in action against the Highveld Lions during the 2017/18 Momentum One Day Cup. Photo: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Rory Kleinveldt knows the Newlands cricket ground like the back of his hand - well most of it anyway.

He’ll be somewhere new in that storied old venue this Friday - the away team’s dressing room for the opening match of the Mzansi Super League. 

“I was telling my wife I’ve never actually been in the away change-room, that’s going to feel a bit weird,” Kleinveldt chuckled as he carried his kit into his new homeground SuperSport Park. 

“It’s different being away from Cape Town, I’ve played there all my life, I haven’t played for any other franchise or province, it’s a little bit strange,” Kleinveldt added.

He’s not the only one in that particular boat. Kleinveldt was a surprise choice for the Tshwane Spartans - his new team - ahead of local veteran Albie Morkel, at the Mzansi League draft. 

Morkel was yesterday unveiled as the captain of the Durban Heat team and will have to get accustomed to some new surrounds at Kingsmead, a bit like Kleinveldt has to in Tshwane. “I’ve always enjoyed when I’ve come to play here at Centurion - especially with the bat.”

Kleinveldt over Morkel did indeed raise many eyebrows in the Tshwane region given how deep Morkel’s roots are established, but Spartans coach Mark Boucher explained the rationale behind the drafting of Kleinveldt and fellow all-rounder Rob Frylinck.

“It’s useless going out there and in your first five picks get five batters, you need a couple of bowlers as well and we thought Robbie has done very well at SuperSport Park, he was a great pick, he’s a guy who’s unlucky not to be in the Proteas side,” said Boucher.

“We got to a situation where we felt we were a bit batter heavy and we needed a guy with a lot of experience. Albie’s name did not come into that because he hasn’t been bowling a lot of late, and not at ‘death’ either."


The Star

Like IOL Sport on Facebook