DURBAN – It is going to be a busy off-season for a number of Dolphins stars who have been called up to the Proteas or SA A teams for their respective tours of Sri Lanka and India over the next few months.
Having been named in the Proteas test squad for their tour to the paradise island of Sri Lanka, left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj has also been included in the One Day International side for the five-match series.
Maharaj played two ODIs in England before last year's Champions Trophy and will be keen to become a more permanent fixture in the Proteas limited-overs set-up.
All-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo has also been included in the Proteas limited-overs side for their trip to the sub-continent. Phehlukwayo fell out of favour in the test squad recently, but has continued to impress in the shorter formats with his skilful bowling and strong lower order batting.
The pair of Maharaj and Phehlukwayo will join David Miller in the squad for a tour that in the past has proved to be a difficult one for South Africa.
The majority of winter action for the Dolphins players will be seen in either the SA A four-day team or their limited overs side, with four players being selected across the two formats for their tour of India at the end of July. The tour consists of two four-day games against India A and a tri-series with the hosts and Australia A.
Dolphins skipper Khaya Zondo has been selected to lead both teams on their tour while he will be joined by all-rounder Senuran Muthusamy as the only other Dolphins player selected in both squads.
"As the captain in England last year I felt we didn't adapt quick enough to the conditions so I hope that in India we can adjust earlier on in the tour to the conditions.
"It's also great from a Dolphins perspective to have a few other guys on the tour. In the past, I have been the only one or maybe one of two so it's going to be nice having more familiar faces with me.
“The guys have been rewarded for good performances through the last season and we hope that we can have a good tour," Zondo commented.
Following a strong season across the formats, SJ Erwee has been rewarded with a call-up to the SA A four-day squad for the two-match series against India A.
"I am really happy that all the hard work is paying off and I am really looking forward to my first SA A tour especially to India," Erwee mentioned. "It's definitely a feather in the Dolphins cap that we have got four players going to India with the A team, it just shows how well the team has done.
"It just shows that when the team does well you get rewarded with selections like this, so I am stoked for us as a franchise."
Travelling to the sub-continent and dealing with conditions that are vastly different from those back home is one of the many challenges that touring a country like India presents. With Erwee eyeing higher honours he is relishing playing in difficult conditions.
"As we know the ball is going to spin quite a bit and there will be the variable bounce but I am going to prepare as well as I can.
"You have to know your game really well and go in with a calm head and back your skills and ability. I am really excited to face those sorts of challenges and try and make the most of the opportunity that I have received."
Having performed admirably for the Dolphins over the past couple of seasons which culminated in two matches for the Proteas against Bangladesh in a recent IT20 series, Rob Frylinck has been included in the 50 over squad for the India tour.
CEO of KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Heinrich Strydom is excited by these selections which shows a franchise that is on the up.
"We are really proud to have three players in the Proteas squad for the various tours of Sri Lanka and wish Keshav (Maharaj), Dave (Miller) and Andile (Phehlukwayo) all the best.
"It is great to see Keshav back in the one day mix and hopefully he can put in some good performances in white ball cricket too for the Proteas.
"To have four players in the SA A team for a tour to India is also incredible to see," Strydom said. "To be able to experience conditions that are so different to our own can only be good for their careers.
"To have Khaya captaining both the limited overs and four-day sides is another highlight for us."
African News Agency (ANA)