Thursday, October 18, 2018

Mzanzi Super League profiles: Paarl Rocks

Paarl Rocks
Home ground: Boland Park
Home City: Paarl
Cool factor: B-
Established: Like one day ago

Squad: Faf du Plessis, Dwayne Bravo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dane Paterson, Aiden Markram, Mangaliso Mosehle, Bjorn Fortuin, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Grant Thomson, Paul Stirling, Tshepo Moreki, Henry Davids, Cameron Delport, Eathan Bosch, Patrick Kruger, Kerwin Mungroo
First things first: It should really be noted that Paarl Rocks is quite possibly the worst name in the history of cricket franchises. Yes, even worse than Rising Pune Super Giants, which was literally only so named as a marketing ploy for its owners, RP-Sanjiv Goenka group, aka RPSG. But no, the team is not named Paarl Rocks as an ode to the idea that Paarl is a nice place to be. Paarl sleeps, yes. Paarl makes wine, yes. But Paarl most definitely does not rock. It is in fact so named after the Paarl Rock,  a rock- climbing mecca of some sort for rock climbers. Apparently on a clear day, one can see Table Mountain from Paarl Rock. Cool.

Yep. That's Paarl Rock. Not exactly the greatest thing I've ever seen, but that's Paarl.

Onto the squad itself, well a squad which includes Faf du Plessis, Cameron Delport, Dwyane Bravo and Aiden Markram, certainly looks like it will be able to contend strongly with the bat. Questions will be raised about their abilities with the ball, with Dane Paterson being the only express pace bowler. In this case, express pace is a rather kind term. Dwayne Bravo is of course one of the great T20 franchise players of all time, but, I’m not sure this will be enough, especially up north where the pitches are faster and firmer. More especially when their spinner is Tabraiz Shamsi, and he is in, to put it mildly, horrid form.  On the bright side, they do have two all-rounders in Cameron Delport and Dwayne Bravo who are likely to fill the stat sheet with both bat and ball. Given that this is the first edition of this  tournament, all teams should expect to do well, but given a not particularly intimidating stadium (Boland Park seats 10 000), a light pace attack, and the absence of a true master blaster, it would not surprise us to see them near the bottom of the standings.

Captain: Faf du Plessis.
International Marquee: Dwayne Bravo
Foreign player: Paul Stirling
Kolpak player: Cameron Delport
Rookie: Eathan Bosch.
Age: 20 years. T20 record: 5 games.  60 runs. Strike rate 157.89. Highest score: 50. 6 wickets. Economy rate 8.75.
Likely XI
Du Plessis*
Van Jaarsveld

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