With Cricket South Africa still reeling from the postponement of the T20 Global League, the gap in the calendar will now have to filled by the domestic T2o challenge.
It’s definitely not as glamorous but at least the availability of the Proteas means that the tournament could be very competitive and raise its profile significantly.
Here’s the firepower that every franchise will get with their national stars present. (Only current Proteas are listed)
Proteas: AB de Villiers, Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Quinton de Kock, Farhaan Behardien, Morne Morkel, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Dale Steyn, Chris Morris.
It’s obvious what coach Mark Boucher’s problem is: he has too much depth.
And the scary part is that national skipper Faf du Plessis would’ve been part of the mix had he not been injured.
The franchise has already made it known that they’ll gladly loan some players to other franchises should they have needs.
One thinks particularly here of a guy like Dean Elgar, who could add value somewhere else because he’ll struggled to find a batting spot in the Titans’ T20 line-up.
The combination of Lungi Ngidi and Dale Steyn with the ball is a scarily fun prospect.
Proteas: JP Duminy, Dane Paterson, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Wayne Parnell.
What will make the Capetonians happy is that their national players provide them options in various areas.
No team will say no to batsmen like Amla, Duminy and Bavuma – all different stroke-makers – while the Cobras will be grateful for the wisdom ace seamer Dane Paterson brings back with him.
Should Wayne Parnell be fit, he could be influential.
Proteas: Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pretorius, Mangaliso Mosehle, Wiaan Mulder, Aaron Phangiso, Beuran Hendricks.
Geoff Toyana has always had a very good bowling attack at his disposal and he certainly can’t complain about the bowling firepower his national players bring him.
In fact, it’s a well balanced mix of strike bowlers and support staff that can keep things in check.
The mercurial Mosehle, however, is one of few big strikers in the batting line-up and the Lions would do well to target someone like Dean Elgar across the Jukskei for a loan.
Proteas: Imran Tahir, Keshav Maharaj, Andile Phehlukwayo, Robbie Frylinck.
Much like the Lions, the Durbanites will boast a varied attack.
Imran Tahir’s leg-spin could be a priceless weapon and it will be interesting to see if him and Test spinner Keshav Majaraj might be played together.
Again, however, they might lack batting power.
Proteas: David Miller, Theunis de Bruyn, Duanne Olivier.
The central franchise has a some nice talent as it disposal and the idea of Miller and captain De Bruyn, known for being an aggressive player, clicking together is an appealing one.
Duanne Olivier isn’t known as a particularly good T20 bowler but he’d relish the chance to broaden his skills in that regard.
Proteas: None currently.
If you’re freaked out by reading that empty list, don’t be.
For year, the Warriors have made it a specialty of theirs to perform well in this tournament without any big names.
They have previous Proteas like Jon-Jon Smuts and Simon Harmer in their ranks but it’s their collective spirit that will carry them.
Remember, they were runners-up last year with the same squad.
Expect one or two loan signings too.