Durban - The 2017/18 RAM SLAM T20 Challenge is ready to go and the Dolphins are hoping to hit the ground running when they take on the Cape
Cobras at SuperSport Park Centurion on Sunday.
Players and franchises were left in limbo following the postponement of the T20
Global League, and subsequent to Cricket South Africa's decision to move the
domestic T20 competition from early 2018 players have the chance to showcase
their skills in the shortest format of the game before the Momentum One Day Cup
kicks off in late December.
The 2017 edition of the RAM SLAM takes on a much more devastating form with all
Proteas players available to the various franchises which adds a certain
anticipation to the competition that might have been lacking in previous
A Dolphins side with the likes of Andile Phehlukwayo and the highest ranked international T20 spinner
in the world, Imran Tahir, means the depth of the squad is increased especially
when you lob those Proteas into the mix alongside Keshav Maharaj, Vaughn van
Jaarsveld, Rob Frylinck, Dane Vilas, Morné van Wyk and Khaya Zondo.
Despite this squad depth the Dolphins will be without the services of Tahir and
Van Jaarsveld for their opening clash of the campaign as the injury cloud which
has plagued the Durban franchise in recent months is yet to lift.
"We aren't a team that are happy with mediocrity," coach Grant Morgan said.
"Although we are pleased with the fighting spirit that we created during
the Sunfoil Series, we have discussed that during this T20 competition we want
to play more off the front foot and we want to take the approach of not always
being a side that has to fight back.
"We want to dominate games and we know that we have the ability to do
With the likes of Phehlukwayo and Tahir back in the Dolphins mix, Morgan does
believe that despite their obvious influence it is going to be crucial for the
squad as a whole to perform should they want to win the competition.
"We are going to be need the guys that are just below our internationals
to put in the big performances throughout the tournament.
"There are guys there that I know are good enough to play for South Africa
and if we are going to become the champions then it is vital that our
stock-standard, 'middle class' player stands up and makes himself an
international," Morgan emphasised.
Last season's edition of the domestic T20 showdown ended badly for the Dolphins
who only managed to win three of their ten fixtures and finished fifth on the
log, only ahead of the VKB Knights.
Coming up against the Cape Cobras in their opening clash of the competition
will be a challenge for the Dolphins, and playing them at a neutral venue is
something that captain Khaya Zondo is curious to take part in.
"Both teams will know what to expect from Centurion, but it isn't your
home ground," Zondo said.
"This will be a slight disadvantage for both teams so it will come down to
the team that picks up the conditions the quickest and adapts will have the
"We know that they have some strong players but we have also got strong
players so it will be an even contest and we are excited to get out there and
see how it goes."
Sarel Erwee, Morne Van Wyk, Khaya Zondo (captain), Sibonelo Makhanya, Andile
Phehlukwayo, Rob Frylinck, Keshav Maharaj, Prenelan Subrayen, Cody Chetty, Athi
Maposa, Eathan Bosch, Smangaliso Nhlebela, Mthokozisi Shezi, Dane Vilas