Head coach James Pentz is all but banking on a string of big performances from Hollywoodbets Crusaders Cricket Club’s stars during this month’s National Club Championship in Pretoria.
The Durban-based outfit won the tournament in 2015, but are without key all-rounders Kyle Simmonds and Cameron Delport for this year’s edition.
Simmonds is now playing for Stellenbosch University Cricket Club (Maties), while Delport’s blossoming career is highlighted by recent stints for the Kolkata Knight Riders, Galaxy Gladiators Lantau in the Indian Premier League, Hong Kong Twenty20 Blitz and Lahore Qalanders in the Pakistan Super League, respectively.
Batsmen Johnny Riekert, Ruben Hattingh, Riaan Minnie and Tyron Koen, meanwhile, occupied third, fifth, seventh and 11th position, respectively, in the 2017-18 KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union premier league run-scoring ranks.
Their bowling department will be spearheaded by the experienced Nick Hewer and fellow seamers Calvin Savage and Eathan Bosch, who represented the Dolphins in the Sunfoil Series recently. Savage offers plenty with the bat, too, having welcomed a maiden first-class century against the Lions at the Wanderers last month.
“We have a very exciting team and a great blend of youth and experience – and some youthful experience. The team is very well captained by Jason Biddulph, who is a courageous leader with a very good cricket brain. We are happy to have the services of Calvin, Eathan, Andile Mogkakane and Tyron,” Pentz told Club Cricket SA.
“Our steady opening pair of Johnny and Riaan have been an integral part of our success this season. Our middle- and lower-order is scattered with quality all-rounders, which is a great asset to our team.
“With veteran bowler Nick and batsmen Ruben Hattingh back for another National Club Championship, we are in good shape.”
The tournament will take place from 22 to 27 April.