Proteas do it for Christchurch
Johannesburg - The Proteas will play the Canterbury Wizards in a charity match at the Hagely Oval in Christchurch on Wednesday, as part of fundraising efforts for the earthquake stricken city.
Proceeds from the match will be donated towards the costs of re-building cricket facilities in the city, and will be pulled from the sold-out ticket sales and the players' autographed playing shirts which will go up for auction.
Head coach Gary Kirsten will be participating in a Q and A luncheon prior to the match and the players will be giving away their signed playing shirts which will go up for auction to raise funds.
"We hope that the little bit that the South African cricket team is giving towards the cause will go a long way in restoring the spirit of cricket and the facilities in the city," said team manager Mohammed Moosajee.
Although it is a charity match, the fixture will also serve as a warm-up match for the Proteas, as they look to get their tour started on a good footing.
"It's obviously a warm-up match for us, but a very important one," said Proteas all-rounder, Albie Morkel at a media briefing at the Basin Reserve.
"We want to start our tour on a high, even though we are playing against a state side we are going to give it horns, we are going to try our best to win the game.
"It's a charity game, we all know what it is about but we are going to go out there and really try to get our combinations right from game one."
Morkel made his ODI debut for South Africa in Wellington in 2004, on a forgettable tour for the Proteas after they were thumped 5-1 in the six-match series.
Nearly a decade later, Morkel has returned with an experienced mindset and spirited hopes, as the young squad prepares to change their fortunes.
"It's good to be back, almost 10 years later, it's a very nice feeling and I'm experiencing New Zealand a bit, getting out of the hotel," said Morkel.
"It's very different from South Africa, especially weather wise. It's pretty cold, wet and slippery, you have to adapt to every game, basically every game is a different challenge.
"We've got a young side here so it's going to be interesting to see how quickly we can adapt to those conditions. Obviously New Zealand is a very tough side to beat in New Zealand so we've got a big challenge ahead of us."