Cape Town - With the SA20 starting on Tuesday with a clash between MI Cape Town and Paarl Royals at Newlands in Cape Town, here are five players set to light up the competition in the opening match.
1. Rashid Khan (MI Cape Town)
Only 24-years-old but already a veteran of 353 T20 matches, Rashid is the quintessential modern-day globetrotting cricketer that packs his bag every other month to ply his trade for a new team in a different part of the world. It was apt that he said at the SA20 captain’s presser that he had come "straight from there (Australia’s Big Bash) to here; I've had half-an-hour in the room to change". It is all part of a day’s work though for the Afghanistan leg-spinner and he will no doubt be ready to shine on Tuesday for his new team at Newlands.
2. Sam Curran (MI Cape Town)
The baby-faced England all-rounder is currently the hottest property in T20 cricket. Fresh from winning the Player of the Tournament in helping England to their second T20 World Cup trophy last year, Curran became the most expensive auction buy in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL) after being bought by Punjab Kings for £1.85m. His ability to swing the new-ball upfront and coolness under pressure at the death makes him an asset to any team, while he also has the ability to play critical innings at the backend.
Five players to watch in the SA20 opener pic.twitter.com/mzN0at0ol2— IOL Sport (@IOLsport) January 10, 2023
3. Dewald Brevis (MI Cape Town)
The wunderkind of South African cricket has another major platform to showcase his immense talents. Having already had a taste of the big time at the IPL and CPL, Brevis will now look to put on a show in his homeland. The teenager is the future of South African cricket and the SA20 has been tailor made for players like him to develop further.
4. Jos Buttler (Paarl Royals)
England’s T20 World Cup winning captain is arguably the most destructive opener in the shortest format. Buttler has the ability to spearhead a title challenge almost single-handedly as he showed during the recent IPL where he took Rajasthan Royals to the brink of their first title since the inaugural competition back in 2008 last season. If Buttler goes well, rest assured the Royals will go well.
5. Tabraiz Shamsi (Paarl Royals)
The Proteas magician will be looking to haul out his bag of tricks again in the SA20. There are few more skilful spinners in T20 cricket with his ability to take wickets and maintain an economical run-rate an asset to any team. Shamsi is also extremely knowledgeable of all the conditions in South Africa and he will be sure to use this to his advantage in the tournament opener.