DURBAN - As many as 17 Dolphins players are going to take part in the inaugural T20 Global League, which starts on 3 November in Cape Town.
During Sunday’s draft many would have experienced a full range of emotions.
Some, like Andile Phehlukwayo, were among the early picks, securing a lavish $100 000 fee. The young all-rounder had only walked into the Cape Town venue minutes into the draft, after his travel details had got mixed up.
“I was supposed to fly in on the Saturday, but ended up only leaving Durban on Sunday morning. In the end, it was worth the hassle. I’m really privileged to be part of the Global League, and to be joining the Joburg Giants,” Phehlukwayo beamed.
“It is something new, and it will give opportunities not just to youngsters, but also to players who haven’t had the chance to play with the calibre of players in the competition. It’s great for South African cricket,” he added.
Of course, there was also excitement about the size of his cheque, as the 21 year-old netted a tournament fee just under R1.5-million.
“It is nice to have been in the top three of the draft, and that money can make a big difference in my life. I can help my family, sort out a place to stay, and also invest. It really is a huge helping hand when you don’t come from a background that was not great financially."
The latest development in Phehlukwayo’s success crowns what has been a stellar year, having become a regular in the Proteas limited-overs set-up, as well as making the Test squad to learn the ropes against England.
“I have been working hard over the past year, with lots of different coaches, especially in the Proteas environment. I feel that I am learning every day and growing as a player and as a human being.
“The T20 Global league is obviously a great platform to show what you can do and entertain fans. I would love to one day play in the IPL, and maybe this will help open those doors.”
While Phehlukwayo cut a relaxed figure for most of Sunday, it was a lot more tense at the other end of the scale. Kyle Nipper, the final pick of the 2017 draft, had just about given up.
“I watched the early stages but, by the afternoon I had decided to go and play some golf. Going into the final round of picks, I think I had probably written it off,” he admitted.
“It was great when I heard the news. I guess I have been unlucky with these sort of things in the past, so it is nice to get an opportunity now. To be part of the Mavericks will be awesome, and a great experience,” the Maritzburg College product explained.
Nipper was gutted to miss out on going to the last ever Champions League tournament with the Dolphins, having played his part in their road to India.
“I guess this is now a step in the right direction for me, and a chance for me to move my career forward,” he said of the opportunity to play alongside some of the biggest names in the game.
Nipper will play alongside five other Dolphins in the Pretoria franchise, while four more will turn out for the Kingsmead-based Qalanders.