The franchise era is over, and with it the time of the Hollywoodbets Dolphins, but players from the squad that won the final CSA 4-Day Franchise series could play a big part for the Proteas in the Caribbean.
A quartet of KwaZulu-Natal Coastal players are in the squad for the two Tests against the West Indies, with only Keshav Maharaj being an established international.
The other three, Sarel Erwee, Keegan Petersen and Prenelan Subrayen could make their Test debuts.
Having played so much cricket at Hollywoodbets Kingsmead, these four players could be best prepared to deal with conditions in the Caribbean. Durban is infamous for its humidity but has also seen its Test ground’s pitch undergo an evolution that closely resembles surfaces in the West Indies.
Once infamously seam-friendly, Kingsmead has become slower which has aided the rise of a group of spinners headed by Maharaj and also including Subrayen and Senuran Muthusamy.
Both the Tests against the West Indies will be played at St Lucia’s Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, a venue that has plenty in it for seamers and spinners.
In the last Test played at the ground, England off-spinner Moeen Ali proved a thorn in the hosts’ side, claiming seven in the match. His exploits could give heart to Subrayen, who will have to beat out competition from Tabraiz Shamsi for a place in the team should the Proteas look to field two spin options.
The surface might also prove to be suited to the talents of Erwee and Petersen with bat in hand. Neither are considered frontrunners for a place in the Test XI but could seize upon chances in the intra-squad warm-ups and force their way in.
In the last season, Erwee proved that he could play big innings in the red-ball game and was more than just a white-ball blaster.
Petersen has also demonstrated an appetite for a big score and has become far more consistent since establishing himself in Durban.
The series against the West Indies could provide opportunities for new Proteas heroes to emerge, and the foursome from the ranks of the First Class champions have as good a chance as anyone to impress.