SUNFOIL DOLPHINS UPBEAT ABOUT CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
By: Bhekumndeni Kunene
The Sunfoil Dolphins officially launched their Champions League season with a corporate event on Wednesday.
The glittering function was hosted by the Suncoast Casino where the contracted players for the upcoming season were announced before the announcement of the Champions League Squad.
TK was also announced as the new apparel sponsor for the franchise before the unveiling of the Champions League kit.
The Champions League kit has the name of the city of Durban branded on the back which symbolises the partnership between the franchise and Durban Tourism.
Captain Morne van Wyk was tasked with announcing the squad of contacted players which is relatively the same as last season.
Proteas leg-spinner, Imraan Tahir, Thandi Tshabalala, Proteas Under 19 Captain, Sbonelo Makhanya, Andile Phehlukwayo are the only additions for the new season.
The Durban-based franchise had a very good run last season, finishing third in the Sunfoil Series and winning the Ram Slam T20, thus booking a Champions League spot.
Their success was built around the leadership of Morne van Wyk and the exuberance of young players like Cody Chetty, Khaya Zondo, Cameron Delport, Kyle Abbott, to mention but a few.
Out-going KZNCU CEO, Jesse Challen, said that their success last season was as a result of long-term plans they had put in place as a franchise.
“A few years ago we sat down and made a promise to make this team the best in the world. We are now going to the Champions League to compete against nine teams from around the world, I think we are almost there,” he said.
Captain van Wyk promised that his side would do their best to win the tournament despite their inexperience at international level.
“We’re going there to win it- we don’t mean to be arrogant by saying that but we believe in ourselves. Our inexperienced guys see this as an opportunity to measure themselves against the best in the world. We’ll be missing David Miller but it is an opportunity for someone else to put his hand up,” he added.
Coach Lance Klusener praised his team for the good work they do on a day to day basis and the camaraderie within the squad.
“This team is special; you would never find a sports team with such camaraderie. These young players have put in a lot of hard work over the past few months and now it is paying off,” he concluded.
The Champions League Squad: Morne van Wyk (capt/wk), Kyle Abbott, Craig Alexander, Cody Chetty, Cameron Delport, Daryn Dupavillon, Robbie Frylinck, Keshav Maharaj, Sbonelo Makhanya, Andile Phehlukwayo, Daryn Smit, Prenalen Subrayen, Vaughan van Jaarsveld, Jonathan Vandiar, Khaya Zondo.