The upcoming Indian Premier League will be the first event to showcase top South African cricketing talent since the 3 Team exhibition match.
South African cricket fans have endured an endless stream of bad news regarding the national board in recent weeks but can finally enjoy watching some of our best mixing it with some of the finest T20 stars in the world.
The Chennai Super Kings sport the joint-most Proteas with three in their ranks. Faf du Plessis, Lungi Ngidi and Imran Tahir are all back for the team they helped to the IPL title in 2018. Du Plessis could renew an interesting opening partnership with Australian bruiser Shane Watson. Ngidi and Tahir have both shown themselves to be T20 match-winners in the green and gold as well as the canary yellow of the Super Kings.
Despite having the likes of AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli in their ranks the Royal Challengers Bangalore have never won the IPL. This season they will be hoping that veteran Proteas paceman Dale Steyn and allrounder Chris Morris aid them in hitting on that winning formula.
The only other Proteas man with a title-winning season under his belt is the current T20 skipper Quinton de Kock, who helped the Mumbai Indians win the 12th iteration of the showpiece. He scored 529 runs in 16 matches last year including four 50s. He is expected to open the batting with Australia international Chris Lynn.
Former Kings XI Punjab skipper David Miller has shifted allegiance to the Rajasthan Royals, and may hope the change will bring him success in the tournament. The international record-holder for the fastest T20I hundred also has an IPL ton to his name, coming in 2013.
Hardus Viljoen may be lost to the Proteas after taking up a career in County Cricket, but he is free to play in the IPL and joins coach Jonty Rhodes at Miller’s former team the Kings XI. He made his IPL debut for the franchise last term but played a limited part before the tea, failed to make the playoffs.
Another South African who tore it up in the IPL last season was Kagiso Rabada who propelled the Delhi Capitals to a great start, unfortunately, injury cut short his campaign and the team also ran out of steam towards the backend of the season.
A late addition to the batch was paceman Anrich Nortje who was signed by the Kolkata Knight Riders as a replacement for English allrounder Chris Woakes. Nortje will make his first appearance in the IPL.
The IPL will have a slightly different air this season with no fans allowed inside the venues in substitute host nation the UAE. As a melting pot for different cultures, the IPL has fostered greater understanding and togetherness across the cricketing world, and that should be especially true of the 2020 tournament.