AB de Villiers and Wayne Parnell will return to competitive cricket this weekend although it will not be at full franchise level.
De Villiers will play in a club match on Saturday while Parnell will turn out for Eastern Province in their three-day match against Boland starting on Thursday followed by the limited overs fixture on Sunday.
Parnell will be limited to five overs per day in the three-day match but will be allowed to bowl his full allocation of eight overs on Sunday.
De Villiers’ participation is subject to his coming through a medical examination later this week with the CSA medical committee.
De Villiers had an ankle operation during the off-season to deal with a long-term injury while Parnell has been out of action since suffering a groin injury during the Indian Premier League early in the year.
Cricket South Africa is making available all the nationally contracted players for the opening round of SuperSport Series matches which start on Thursday and continues until Sunday.
The only exceptions will be players on the injured list and this includes the quartet of Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher, Albie Morkel and Dale Steyn in addition to De Villiers and Parnell.
Kallis has an upper back and neck injury which should clear up in the next three weeks while Boucher’s shoulder injury will sideline him for the first two rounds of the SuperSport Series. Morkel has a side strain.
Steyn has a statutory rest period of at least two weeks following the concussion he suffered in the Champions League T20. He is also being treated for cervicular whiplash and lumbar contusion.
The Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras start the defence of their SuperSport Series title against the bizhub Highveld Lions at Randjesfontein on Thursday.
In the other matches the Nashua Titans are at home to the Chevrolet Warriors at SuperSport Park while the Chevrolet Knights have a home fixture against the Nashua Dolphins at the De Beers Diamond Oval.
Apart from the presence of the contracted players there are two experienced Proteas back in the mix for national selection in Robin Peterson of the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras and Jacques Rudolph of the Nashua Titans following the termination of their Kolpak contracts in England.
Peterson has already been called up for the Proteas’ Standard Bank limited overs squads for the series against Zimbabwe and Pakistan.
Rudolph, who will captain the Titans, is an experienced Test cricketer and the four-day SuperSport Series format provides him with the ideal forum to underline his class in the longer form of the game.
As usual, there has been a fair amount of player movement during the off-season. Significant ones include CJ de Villiers going from the Chevrolet Knights to the Nashua Titans, Imran Tahir from the Titans to the Nashua Dolphins and Basheeru-deen Walters from the Titans back to the Chevrolet Warriors.
Walters and Craig Alexander of the bizhub Highveld Lions, who has recovered from a long-term injury, were star performers with the new ball for the SA Emerging Squad during their successful trip to Australia and their progress will be followed with interest.
The Lions’ squad includes Paul Harris, a new arrival from the Titans, as well as Friedel de Wet who has recovered from long-term injury.
Source: Times Live – September 29, 2010