Cape Town - Several star Proteas showed their commitment to the national team’s quest to qualify for the ICC World Cup in India later this year by giving the opening Indian Premier League weekend a skip by staying home to face the Netherlands in the recently-concluded series.
But now that business has been taken care of - the Proteas moved to 98 points on the ICC Super League table and into the all-important last qualifying spot - they have headed off to the IPL.
Several Proteas have played in the IPL for years, but there was plenty of movement after last season’s auction.
Let’s find out who will play where…
David Miller (Gujarat Titans)
After several years at Kings XI (now Punjab Kings) and Rajasthan Royals, Miller moved to the Gujarat Titans last season. It proved to be an immediate success as the powerful southpaw played a pivotal role in leading the new franchise to the title last season before 100 000 fans in Ahmedabad. He will aim for a repetition of personal and team success.
Quinton de Kock (Lucknow Super Giants)
Another that has played for various IPL teams in the past, De Kock found a home at Lucknow Super Giants last season where he formed a formidable opening partnership with captain KL Rahul. De Kock struck 508 runs last season, including a massive unbeaten 140.
Kagiso Rabada (Punjab Kings)
A colossus at the IPL, where he previously led the Delhi Capitals attack with aplomb, but now charges in for the Punjab Kings. He was the Kings’ leading wicket-taker with 23 scalps last season and will hope a niggling injury that kept him out of the final ODI against the Dutch does not hinder his performances this year.
Anrich Nortje (Delhi Capitals)
The Uitenhage Express is arguably the fastest bowler in the world at the moment and will look to charge in with ferocity for the Capitals this year after being retained.
Aiden Markram (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
The Proteas’ new T20 captain has been handed the leadership reins of the Sunrisers Hyderabad too for this year. Markram certainly has plenty of leadership experience, having led the Sunrisers Eastern Cape to the SA20 title this year, and will be hoping for similar success.
Lungi Ngidi (Delhi Capitals)
After a few seasons spent at the highly-successful Chennai Super Kings franchise, Ngidi moves across to Delhi this season where he will join up with fellow Proteas fast bowler Anrich Nortje. It might be hard for Ngidi to force his way into the starting XI initially, but if provided with the opportunity he will certainly look to utilise his skill-set that includes a magnificent change of pace.
Marco Jansen (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
The lanky seamer has developed into a potent limited-overs all-rounder with his free striking complimenting his left-arm pace deliveries. Jansen is still only 22 and will already be heading into his third IPL season after a stint at the Mumbai Indians.
Heinrich Klaasen (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
The flamed-haired power-hitter in the Proteas middle-order has had an outstanding home international summer. This attracted the attention of the IPL owners at the auction as Klaasen fetched the highest price of R10.8 million for a South African player after a bidding war between the Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals. He was eventually taken by the Sunrisers where he joined fellow Proteas Aiden Markram and Marco Jansen.
Sisanda Magala (Chennai Super Kings)
The find of the summer for the Proteas was rewarded for his efforts with a late call-up to the IPL. Magala will replace New Zealander Kyle Jamieson at the Chennai Super Kings. He may not be afforded much gametime, but will have an unbelievable opportunity to train and learn from the world’s best with legendary West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo part of the Super Kings coaching staff.
*Other South Africans also at the IPL
Rilee Rossouw (Delhi Capitals), Faf du Plessis (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Dwaine Pretorius (Chennai Super Kings), Dewald Brevis, Tristan Stubbs, Duan Jansen (all Mumbai Indians), Donovan Ferreira (Rajasthan Royals)