Johannesburg: More than 20 South African players, who are on the list of various teams of the Indian Premier League starting from April 3, are reportedly ready to test their skills against some of the best players in the world.
The beginning match of the IPL will see players Ryan McLaren and Jacques Kallis from the Kolkata Knight Riders battle against their Proteas team-mates Johan Botha, Roelof van der Merwe, Gulam Bodi and Morne Morkel from the Delhi Daredevils. AB de Villiers, who will be playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore, is one of the South Africans who have made a real impact in IPL cricket, adding that his inventive batting could well see him end as one of the tournament’s leading run-scorers.
All-rounder Albie Morkel, who has been overlooked by the national selectors recently, has shown his ‘fearsome’ performance in the South African RAM SLAM T20 and is a key part of the Chennai Super Kings’ squad. Quinton De Kock, who was picked up for just 20, 000 USD by a new franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad, has also been one of the stars of RAM SLAM tournament.
However, De Kock will have his work cut out forcing his way into a team which has the likes of Dale Steyn, Australia’s Clint McKay and Cameron White, Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara and West Indian Darren Sammy to choose from. One benefit of this year’s IPL is that it will provide valuable match practice for a number of South Africans who will come into contention for the Proteas squad which will compete in the 50-over ICC Champions Trophy, which starts in England in June.