Johannesburg - The Dolphins have moved swiftly to offset the loss of Imran Tahir by securing the services of Proteas paceman Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
Leg-spinner Tahir is expected to continue his career with the Highveld Lions but left-armer Tsotsobe who, as a Cricket South Africa contracted player can nominate which franchise he wants to play for, is a more than capable replacement for the Dolphins.
The 28-year-old Tsotsobe joins from the Warriors, the franchise that he began his career with in 2004.
Tsotsobe has since established himself at one of the world’s most effective limited-overs bowlers and is currently the top-ranked bowler in the International Cricket Council’s bowler ratings for one-day international (ODI) cricket.
“From our side we wanted him to strengthen our bowling attack. Lopsy adds good depth and most importantly, strike-power,” Dolphins chief executive Jesse Chellan said on Friday.
“We have been trying to secure his services for a while now and we have finally done it,” he added.
One negative about Tsotsobe’s signing is that his playing opportunities in Durban will be severely curtailed by his international commitments with the Proteas.
South Africa’s international season this year kicks off proper, after a handful of T20 internationals against Zimbabwe, with a full tour of England from July until September.
The Proteas will barely have time to catch their breath before they play in the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka before touring Australia while they will host New Zealand and Pakistan between December and March.
Tsotsobe may be an integral part of South Africa’s limited-overs teams but, while he is not a first choice in the test team, he was still part of the test squad that played against New Zealand in the recently completed series.
Chellan is well aware that Tsotsobe may not always be available for the Dolphins.
“We understand that he will not be with us for the entire season but he can also help to grow some of our young bowlers especially someone like (left-arm seamer) Mthokozisi Shezi.
“He is mainly involved in the one-day team and we hope that when SA play tests he will be available for us, especially when the Proteas are playing at home. We haven’t been that successful in four-day cricket and we would like him to play as much first-class cricket for us as possible,” said Chellan.