JOHANNESBURG – With the start of the inaugural Mzansi Super League mere hours away, here are some interesting facts you should know:
Hashim Amla, Rashid Khan, David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen, Kyle Abbott, Keshav Maharaj, Khaya Zondo, Albie Morkel (capt), Marchant de Lange, Vernon Philander, Brandon Mavuta, Temba Bavuma, Morne van Wyk, Okuhle Cele, Sarel Erwee, Tladi Bokako.
Kagiso Rabada, Chris Gayle, Dane Vilas (capt), Rassie van der Dussen, Dan Christian, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Dwaine Pretorius, Eddie Leie, Pite van Biljon, Duanne Olivier, Ryan Rickelton, Sinethemba Qeshile, Simon Harmer, Calvin Savage, Alfred Mothoa.
Faf du Plessis (capt), Dwayne Bravo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dane Paterson, Aiden Markram, Mangaliso Mosehle, Bjorn Fortuin, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Grant Thomson, Tshepo Moreki, Henry Davids*, Cameron Delport, Eathan Bosch, Patrick Kruger, Kerwin Mungroo, David Wiese, Michael Klinger.
* Davids will skipper the Rocks in their first two matches until Du Plessis returns from Australia.
Cape Town Blitz
Quinton de Kock, Dawid Malan, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dale Steyn, Asif Ali, Farhaan Behardien (capt), Anrich Nortje, Janneman Malan, Malusi Siboto, George Linde, Ferisco Adams, Jason Smith, Sibonelo Makhanya, Kyle Verreynne, Dane Piedt, Muhammad Nawaz, Hussain Tallat.
AB de Villiers (capt), Eoin Morgan, Lungi Ngidi, Robbie Frylinck, Jeevan Mendis, Theunis de Bruyn, Rory Kleinveldt, Sean Williams, Gihahn Cloete, Lutho Sipamla, Tony de Zorzi, Dean Elgar, Andrew Birch, Sikandar Raza, Shaun von Berg, Eldred Hawken, Rilee Rossouw.
Nelson Mandela Bay Giants
Imran Tahir, Jason Roy, Chris Morris, Jon-Jon Smuts (capt), Junior Dala, Christiaan Jonker, Aaron Phangiso, Ben Duckett, Sisanda Magala, Ryan McLaren, Heino Kuhn, Marco Marais, Dyllan Matthews, Lizaard Williams, Rudi Second, Carmi le Roux
The weekend's fixtures are:
Tonight: CT Blitz v Tshwane Spartans, Newlands (7pm)
Tomorrow: Jozi Stars v NMB Giants, Wanderers (7pm)
Sunday: Durban Heat v CT Blitz, Kingsmead (11am); Paarl Rocks v Tshwane Spartans, Paarl (3.30pm)
* All matches live on SABC 3, Radio 2000
Voices in the commentary box:
Legenday Pakistan opening batsman Aamir Sohail will lead a commentary team containing 17 top names for the MSL, which opens with a top clash between the Cape Town Blitz and Tshwane Spartans at Newlands this evening.
The 32 tournament matches will be exclusively showcased by the SABC in the sub-Saharan region and by Sony Entertainment Network in India and the sub-continent region.
Joining Sohail, the free-scoring and now well trusted voice of cricket in the sub-continent region, will be other familiar international voices in Dominic Cork from England and Zimbabwe's Alistair Campbell alongside a quartet of former Proteas bowling talents in Lance Klusener, Paul Harris, Andre Nel and Monde Zondeki.
Injured current Protea JP Duminy, who captained the national side in Sri Lanka two months ago, will also form part of the commentary team as he gives fresh dressing room analysis with strong authority from recent dressing room experiences.
There will also be the sultry, trusted voices of Kass Naidoo, Natalie Germanos, Mluleki Ntsabo and Udo Carelse as well as fresh new additions with television personalities in Katlego Maboe and Graeme Richards.
Three men familiar with the domestic cricket scene - Ahmed Amla (in Durban), Justin Kreusch (Port Elizabeth) and Nono Phongolo (Gauteng) - will also give the commentary team an additional edge for the tournament.