Friday, June 14, 2024

Lions Cricket: 2024/25 DP World Lions – Fitter, Faster, Fierce

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Photo Credit: Lions Cricket

The 2024/25 ladies and men’s squads of the DP World Lions are fitter, faster and fiercer than ever before. With the hunting season not far off, #ThePrideOfJozi should be proud of the powerfully packaged squads set to don the Lions badge this upcoming season.

Winners of both the four-day series and CSA T20 Challenge titles, the DP World Lions men’s team has retained all six National players, backed by 16 players equally as talented and determined, so says Head Coach Russell Domingo;

“I’m extremely proud of the squad we’ve put together, albeit sad to say goodbye to the likes of Lions stalwart Malusi Siboto as well as quality players like Sisanda Magala, Duanne Olivier and Tsepo Ndwandwa, but I’ve no doubt they will continue their careers at other franchises and we wish them well. We have a whole host of supreme quality coming through our systems with five new high-performance players on board, all of whom will be one’s to watch. We are honoured to have retained all our nationally contracted Protea players who will prove invaluable not only when playing, but for their leadership, experience and professionalism off-field. I am thrilled too to have Wiaan Mulder sign for another three years: He is a high quality cricketer and a player with whom I am loving working with. We have great depth in our squad, and we’ll be looking for our bowlers such as Yusuf, Moreki and Sipamla to step into the senior roles this season, which I’ve no doubt they will do. I am so pleased with every Pride member onboard and look forward to packing a powerful punch once again this season.”

Fellow Head Coach, Shaun Pretorius of the DP World Lions Ladies, echo’s Domingo’s sentiments on a cracking cricket season up ahead;

“I too am thrilled with our squad and, just as we did this season, I know we will be a force to be reckoned with. Our experienced players will know what’s needed of them and when; and our youngsters bring with them their freedom, hunger and immense talent.

To welcome Tazmin Brits into our Pride is massive: We are grateful and know that we have a good thing going when a player of this magnitude chooses your Pride to call home. Add to that our other Protea players, and we have a powerful Pride ready to attack. Having said that though, our National players have a crammed schedule, particularly for the first half of our season, which is why having the depth and hunger of the remaining 18 players is essential come game day. We have massive talent in this Province and are hugely grateful for the likes of Shabnim Ismail who, despite her busy schedule, will fight for her Pride with every single delivery and every fiber of her being. Our pace bowlers will need to step up when the likes of Ayabonga Khaka and Tumi Sekhukhune are on National duty – but we’re aware of that and the preparation and conditioning is well underway. The same can be said of our batting: When Sinalo (Jafta) and Chloé (Tryon) are away, we’ll look to our younger talent to step up, express themselves and provide a solid foundation with the bat for others to follow. Inclusivity is the name of our game amongst our Lionness’s, ensuring that all players know their roles, work together and are comfortable to express themselves to play smartly, play fairly and play proudly. Further boosting our brains-trust is the onboarding of the highly accomplished and former Protea Trisha Chetty as our wicketkeeper and batting coach. It is a tremendous honour to have her with us and know that she will add tremendous value to every single player. All of this will be held together by our captain Kgomotso Rapoo who will no doubt lead by example once more.

Lions Cricket CEO Jono Leaf-Wright is in full agreement that both squads pack a powerful punch, and that those who cross the paths of the Lions, should do so with caution come the 24/25 season;

“At Lions Cricket, we strongly believe that both our DP World Lions squads overflow with talent, hunger, leadership and determination. We are #ThePrideOfJozi and are proud of the Pride that will represent all that we stand for as a Union, a City, a Province and a Country.

We would like to take this time to thank those who have served us well in the prior seasons particularly Malusi Siboto who has been an incredible asset to Lions Cricket over the years as well as more recently Sisanda and Duanne who joined Lions a few years back – all of whom are exceptional human beings who have worn our badge with the pride and professionalism we expect from all who represent us. All the men will be missed, always welcome and undoubtedly noteworthy signings for another franchise. Tsepo Ndwandwa is another athlete who will be missed, but we know releasing him was the right thing for him and trust that he will receive more game time with his new franchise. To our high performance players that we’ve had to let go: We know that getting game time is the aim of this game and we thank you, wish you well and look forward to watching you grow and develop. Sourcing our men’s players all from within our Province, within our own development structures, speaks volumes for not only the power of our pipeline, but for the future of Lions Cricket.

On the Ladies front: The depth, experience, passion and talent of the Pride’s 23 players is unrivalled – and leaves very little for me to say, other than to ‘watch this space’ – for these

Ladies mean serious business, deserve absolute respect and will no doubt dominate the headlines this season. It is so wonderful that we have retained all of our women players and got Tazmin to join the Lions family as her new home.

In the only move within our men’s and women’s coaching ranks, we wish everything of the best to our women’s Assistant Coach Bongani Ndaba on his new journey as Proteas Women’s fielding coach and will look to fill his role in the weeks that follow. Besides Bongani, we boast full retention of our coaching staff, medical staff and technical staff: To have continuity in this space is what gives us the edge and we are grateful to have their loyalty and devotion to our Pride.

Striving always to produce not only good cricketers on the field, but great people off it, our solid management teams consist of individuals who are steadfast in their love of our brand, exceptional in their own right, love what they do and the community in which we serve. I say, ‘Bring on the 24/25 season’ – this Pride is waiting for you!”

Fixtures for the upcoming 2024/25 season will be released by CSA in due course.

DP WORLD LIONS MENS 2024/25 SQUAD:

DP World Lions Squad

Temba Bavuma (Protea), Bjorn Fortuin (Protea), Reeza Hendricks (Protea), Kagiso Rabada (Protea), Ryan Rickelton (Protea), Rassie van der Dussen (Protea), Junaid Dawood, Connor Esterhuizen, Zubayr Hamza, Dominic Hendricks, Evan Jones, Wandile Makwetu, Muhammad Manack, Kwena Maphaka, Tshepo Moreki, Wiaan Mulder, Nqaba Peter, Delano Potgieter, Joshua Richards, Lutho Sipamla, Mitchell van Buuren, Codi Yusuf.

High Performance

Richard Seletswane, Tiaan Brits, Khaya Fakude, Zack Momberg and Rafeeq Patel

Team Management

Head Coach – Russell Domingo, Assistant Coach – Jimmy Kgamadi, Batting Coach – Hashim Amla, Bowling Coach – Allan Donald, Consultant – Garnett Kruger, High Performance Analyst – Prasanna Agoram, Strength and Conditioning – Nandile Tyali, Physio – Ziyaad Mahomed, Doctor – Dr Dhavina Naidoo, Sports Psychologist – Lloyd Bemelman and Team Manager – Amit Bhoola

DP WORLD LIONS WOMENS 2024/25 SQUAD:

DP World Lions Squad

Ayabonga Khaka (Protea), Sinalo Jafta (Protea), Tumi Sekhukhune (Protea), Chloé Tryon (Protea), Tazmin Brits (Protea), Shabnim Ismail, Sarah Barber, Jenna Evans, Madison Landsman, Palesa Mapoo, Lehlohonolo Meso, Karabo Meso, Relebohile Mkhize, Refilwe Moncho, Sarah Nettleton, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Diara Ramlakan, Kgomotso Rapoo, Samantha Schutte, Nonkululeko Thabethe, Kirstie Thomson, Sunette Viljoen-Louw

Team Management

Head Coach – Shaun Pretorius, High Performance Wicket Keeper Coach and Batting Consultant – Trisha Chetty, Strength and Conditioning – Bohlokwa Mokone, Physio – Sheenagh Jordaan, Doctor – Dr Dhavina Naidoo, Sports Psychologist – Lloyd Bemelman and Team Manager / Logistics – Noluthando Mlahleki

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