Friday, December 9, 2022

Lions Cricket: DP World Lions – The roaring pride set for global greatness

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Set for a super season, the DP World Lions present player prides that tick all the boxes: Experience, leadership, talent, guts and promise. Both men and women teams are fit and ready to fight.

It will be a season that will unearth talent from the powerful pipeline, smash records and see passionate fans having the time of their lives in Africa’s first 5G smart stadium, the newly named DP World Wanderers.

Lions Cricket CEO Jono Leaf-Wright says that the season ahead will be an extension of the great start to the new domestic restructure of last season;

“The summiting of Mafadi, the highest point in South Africa, was the start of the Lions journey in our goal of being number 1 off field as well as on. We had a superb season producing top class players both men and women, with plenty of advancement to national duty. Producing multiple players stretched our pipeline last season and yet we were still able to compete – right up to the last day of the 4 day competition and winning the One Day Cup – which really speaks to our school system, university system, club system, the coaches, administrators and in fact the entire eco-system and how much depth there is. 

The final match of last season saw us lift the CSA One Day Cup – the energy of which remains with us today. The flair of our new T20 kit – the colours, vibrancy and all that it symbolizes is something that we’ll take into the season and the Pride will wear with pride.

True to our high expectations, we are enjoying the current unbeaten streak of our ladies in the CSA T20 Competition, with the men about to embark in their CSA T20 challenge.

We’re itching to get started and see the season unfold. Our Prides feel and look great, operating as a family unit with love and ambition. From a stadium point of view, we are thrilled to host West Indies this season, then Netherlands for the Pink Day. Our iconic DP World Wanderers Stadium will be home of the Joburg Super Kings for the SA20 and add to that a plethora of non-cricketing events both confirmed and in the pipeline at the stadium where Joburg meets.”

DP World Lions Ladies Head Coach: Shaun Pretorius says that as a team, the learnings of last season are immense;

“We felt that last season was a lengthy one in the sense of the biosecure environment fixtures for the first round, and then following a normal season for the second round. It did tend to take a toll on the players bodies and minds however having said that our self-growth was huge – as was our learnings about our opposition, which should stand us in good stead. In terms of goals set for this season, we want to play as a team and support each other. Striving towards small successes on and off the field and working with unity, communication and trust is imperative for a top season. For the DP World Lions Ladies fans, keep a keen eye on our national u19 players at the inaugural u19 Girls World Cup – we have some incredible talent and I most certainly believe that the DP World Lions Ladies will take the season by storm!”

DP World Lions Men’s Head Coach Wandile Gwavu echoes Coach Shaun in terms of last season being a tough one;

“The season was especially challenging because we were in the driving seat in the CSA 4 Day competition until the last day – and having to lose it the way that we did, was heart-breaking. But, having said that, what stood out for me was the character and consistency of the both the coaching staff and senior team members: Our language, work ethic and absolute determination never changed – the belief going into the One Day Competition was always there. Youngsters were given fantastic opportunity to showcase their skills, due to the absence of many team stalwarts who were on national duty. For us to finish the way we did in the 50 over competition, speaks volumes of our bounce back ability and character – and perhaps even 

more importantly, the ability for us to learn and adapt under pressure – finding ways to get results despite the challenges at hand. Overall, we didn’t have a bad season – however perhaps not to the high standards that we had set and expected. We are happy that we added a trophy to our cabinet. In terms of expectations, we always want to dominate and compete for every single trophy. One constant driver of ours is to improve our players – our pipeline is our everything. Without doubt, one thing that stands out at Lions, is that our players advance – they go on to greater levels and national duty, in all formats, at all levels – and that’s ultimately the greatest win of any season. We are always on the look out to produce more players for the Protea’s – whilst still enjoying every single step along the journey in the Pride.”

When asked what fans can expect from the DP World Wanderers pitch, Head Curator Evan Flint says he’s hoping for a sunshine-filled summer;

“The sun helps  assist in the preparation of pitches with pace and bounce – which generally leads to an exciting brand of cricket being played. We are always trying to produce the perfect pitch, however, it’s not an exact science so we are constantly searching for the perfect formula and trying out different techniques to achieve this for every match. You definitely learn more from the mistakes you make, and we made a few last season, so we want to try and make sure that we can improve on those. In terms of my expectations for the season ahead, personally I prefer the red ball matches, where it can be an even contest between bat and ball, so the Test match of South Africa vs West Indies will be a highlight for me.”

To follow the Pride, please visit us on www.lionscricket.co.za or follow us on our official twitter handle @LionsCricketSA and Facebook page Lions Cricket #LionsCricket.

DP WORLD LIONS LADIES SQUAD

Yolani Fourie; Ayabonga Khaka; Tumi Sekhukhune; Kirstie Thomson; Jameelah Shaikjee; Raisibe Ntozakhe; Palesa Mapoo; Lehlohonolo Sardick; Kgomotso Rapoo; Nonkululeko Thabethe; Jenna Evans; Karabo Meso; Sarah Nettleton; Diara Ramlakan; Oluhle Siyo; Refilwe Moncho; Thristan Cronje; Samantha Schutte.

TEAM MANAGEMENT:

Shaun Pretorius; Teboho Ntsukunyane; Inge Konig; Sheenagh Jordaan; Takatso Mkhwanazi 

DP WORLD LIONS MENS SQUAD

Temba Bavuma; Kagiso Rabada; Reeza Hendricks; Bjorn Fortuin; Rassie van der Dussen; Malusi Siboto; Dominic Hendricks; Kagiso “Jonty” Rapulana; Wiaan Mulder; Sisanda Magala; Lutho Sipamla; Ryan Rickelton; Tladi Bokako; Joshua Richards; Duanne Olivier; Mitchell van Buuren; Codi Yusuf; Levert Manje; Evan Jones; Cameron Delport

HIGH PERFORMANCE 

Aya Myoli; Connor Esterhuizen; Karabo Mogotsi; Wandile Makwetu; Glen Adams

TEAM MANAGEMENT

Amit Bhoola; Wandile Gwavu; Jimmy Kgamadi; Michael Smith; Prasanna Agoram; Nandile Tyali; Ziyaad Mohammed; Maluleki Khumalo; Dr Dhavina Naidoo

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