Cape Town - Warriors coach Malibongwe Maketa is hoping to see some of the confidence gained by Eastern Province winning the Africa T20 Cup transfers to the Sunfoil Series when the Warriors kick-off their campaign against the Dolphins in East London on Wednesday.
Several of those players involved in the title-winning success - the likes of Sisanda Magala, Colin Ackermann, Clyde Fortuin and Edward Moore - are expected to feature for the Eastern Cape franchise at Buffalo Park.
“We’re happy with that performance and we’ve got players that will take a lot of confidence from being involved in that success of EP,” Maketa said. “But we also know this is a totally different format and one we didn’t do well in at all last year.”
The Warriors coach feels that history has shown that limited-overs success does not guarantee success in the longer formats, saying they will have to work extremely hard to right the wrongs of last year.
“In the past we’ve done well in white ball cricket, so it’s not really a first for us,” he added. “The Warriors have won some of the bigger limited-over competitions as well and still struggled in the four-day game, so we know we have to improve.
“Those that played in that competition can draw on the confidence, and hopefully it will add to the good preparation and planning for this competition.”
The Warriors were also rocked on the eve of the season by the announcement that Colin Ingram had relinquished the captaincy due to ongoing injuries. Proteas spinner Simon Harmer will lead them on Wednesday.
Their only new winter arrival, Kyle Abbott, is on national duty.
The Dolphins have a new coach in Grant Morgan and the new man is chomping at the bit to get going.
“We’ve had a nice build-up to the season where we did all the preparation that was needed and have now reached the point where there is only so much preparation you can do and then it’s time to pull the trigger,” the new boss said.
The KZN combination have made no new signings and are in fact depleted by the call-up of Andile Phehlukwayo to the national team. Daryn Dupavillon misses out through injury.
Simon Harmer (captain), Colin Ackermann, Andrew Birch, Clyde Fortuin, Phaphama Fojela, Sisanda Magala, Edward Moore, Lesiba Ngoepe, Jerry Nqolo, Michael Price, Somila Seyibokwe, Yaseen Vallie, Basheer Walters
Morne van Wyk (captain), Craig Alexander, Tshepang Dithole, Rabian Engelbrecht, Sarel Erwee, Robbie Frylinck, Imraan Khan, Keshav Maharaj, Sibonelo Makhanya, Calvin Savage, Mthokozisi Shezi, Daryn Smit, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Khaya Zondo