Sunfoil Series

Toyana pleased with Lions new signings

2017-09-18 16:52
Geoffrey Toyana (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Highveld Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana is looking forward to getting their Sunfoil Series campaign underway against the Warriors at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg from Tuesday.

The match marks the start of the 2017/18 franchise season with round one of the season unique from previous years after all the Standard Bank Proteas Test players were made available to play.

The hosts will also be bolstered by some significant new signings, all of whom are available to play.

“My squad is looking good,” Toyana said. “We’ve made some good signings in Omphile Ramela, Craig Alexander and Beuran Hendricks.

“So we can’t wait to see how they get on. I'm pleased that we starting at the Wanderers as well, a ground we know very well.”

There will also be the opportunity for Lions fans to see Kagiso Rabada play red-ball cricket for Toyana.

“It’s going to be tough in terms of team selection,” the coach explained. “I got around 25 players to choose from and everyone is fit and all of them are keen to play.

“So it’s a good headache to have going into that first game. We have our Proteas as well and someone like Kagiso Rabada is going to be great to watch.

“It’s just the third time he’ll be playing for us in two-and-half years, so that’s something to look out for as well.”

Toyana says his players cannot wait to begin, adding: “We’ve trained well over the last week or so. “We were involved in the eKasi as well, so we got a small taste and we now want to get stuck in. It’s been a long off-season, but the boys have all got stronger and we’re all very excited to get going.”

Warriors coach Malibongwe Maketa echoed those sentiments. “We’re excited, we’re ready to go and everyone is looking forward to the new season,” he said.

The men from the Eastern Cape have a new four-day captain in Proteas T20 batsman, Jon-Jon Smuts.

“For us there’s no Proteas and neither are our Kolpak players (Colin Ackermann, Colin Ingram and Simon Harmer) available,” Maketa added.

“So, it’s a great opportunity for our young players to test themselves against the best players in the country. We’re really excited to see where they are in terms of their progress and development.”

Lions squad: 

Stephen Cook (capt), Reeza Hendricks, Omphile Ramela, Rassie van der Dussen, Nicky van den Bergh, Dwaine Pretorius, Mangaliso Mosehle, Bjorn Fortuin, Kagiso Rabada, Beuran Hendricks, Craig Alexander, Ayavuya Myoli, Dominic Hendricks, Wiaan Mulder

Warriors squad: 

Andrew Birch, Gihahn Cloete, Clyde Fortuin, Ayabulela Gqamane, Sisanda Magala, Eddie Moore, Lesiba Ngoepe, Anrich Nortje, Jerry Nqolo, Lutho Sipamla, Jon-Jon Smuts (capt), Yaseen Vallie, David White.

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Fixtures
Monday, 16 October 2017
Hollywoodbets Dolphins v Multiply Titans, Pietermaritzburg Oval 09:30
Highveld Lions v VKB Knights, Potchefstroom 10:00
WSB Cape Cobras v Warriors, Cape Town 10:00
Monday, 23 October 2017
Highveld Lions v Multiply Titans, Johannesburg 10:00
VKB Knights v Warriors, Kimberley 10:00
WSB Cape Cobras v Hollywoodbets Dolphins, Oudtshoorn 10:00
Thursday, 08 February 2018
VKB Knights v Hollywoodbets Dolphins, Kimberley 10:00
Warriors v Highveld Lions, East London 10:00
Multiply Titans v WSB Cape Cobras, Potchefstroom 10:00
Thursday, 15 February 2018
VKB Knights v Multiply Titans, Bloemfontein 10:00
WSB Cape Cobras v Highveld Lions, Paarl 10:00
Warriors v Hollywoodbets Dolphins, Port Elizabeth 10:00
Thursday, 22 February 2018
Hollywoodbets Dolphins v WSB Cape Cobras, Pietermaritzburg Oval 09:30
VKB Knights v Highveld Lions, Kimberley 10:00
Warriors v Multiply Titans, Port Elizabeth 10:00
Thursday, 01 March 2018
Warriors v VKB Knights, East London 10:00
Highveld Lions v Hollywoodbets Dolphins, Potchefstroom 10:00
WSB Cape Cobras v Multiply Titans, Cape Town 10:00
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