Kimberley - Three total wash-outs in four Sunfoil Series matches represents a frustrating start to the season for the Chevrolet Knights but captain Morne van Wyk is still taking a positive out of it.
The Knights are currently preparing for their opening match in the Momentum One-Day Cup against the Chevrolet Warriors at the De Beers Diamond Oval on Sunday.
“In a way, the weather has worked well for us,” commented Van Wyk. “The players are fresh and hungry to go. At this stage last season we had a lot of cricket behind us, and it had taken a toll on the players.”
Van Wyk is himself looking forward to going back to the top of the batting order. He is comfortably the leading run-scorer in domestic one-day cricket, and relishes the challenge of leading from the front. “I enjoy the early opportunity to make an impact on the game,” he said. Veterans Nicky Boje and Johan van der Wath are two other players in the squad who are experienced impact players.
The Warriors have been more fortunate with the weather although they did lose out in their match against the Knights in East London last weekend, and have had a better than normal run in the four-day competition thus far. Like the Knights, they have tended to perform better in the shorter formats.
There are some interesting new and not-so-new faces in the Warriors squad. Evergreen Makhaya Ntini is back, while young Border bowler Ayabulela Gqamane, a wicket-hungry medium pacer, is rewarded for his prolific form. They are joined in the squad by Eastern Province middle-order batsman Colin Ackermann. There is still no Rusty Theron, as a back injury will see him lying low for two months.
Coach Piet Botha is happy with the form of his batting line-up. Colin Ingram has been a top performer and captain Davy Jacobs has already recorded two Sunfoil Series centuries. “Davy gives us a lot in all formats of the game,” he said.
The weather forecast is good and the normally flat Kimberley surface should provide rich entertainment. Play starts at 10am.