Proteas speedster Lungi Ngidi may be loath to say it‚ but the fact that he was picked in the first round of the Mzansi Super League draft on Wednesday speaks volumes in regards with his short format work.
Ngidi‚ who will be turning out for the Tshwane Spartans in next month’s tournament‚ was snapped up in the first round of the draft.
That put him in the R1-million bracket alongside David Miller (Durban Heat)‚ Dane Vilas (Jozi Stars)‚ Tabraiz Shamsi (Paarl Rocks)‚ Andile Phehlukwayo (Cape Town Blitz) and Chris Morris (Nelson Mandela Bay Giants).
Ngidi also featured extensively for Indian Premier League champions Chennai Super Kings and played a crucial role in helping the Tamil Nadu-based franchise in securing their third IPL title.
Ngidi said he’s going to lean on his IPL experience but a new competition is going to require a new mindset.
“I’m not going to say it’s something I didn’t really expect but I was very happy to be picked in the first round‚” Ngidi said.
“Obviously there are a lot of people backing me so I’m going to go out there and do as best as I can.
“I guess playing in the Indian Premier League does help but that’s something that’s in the past now.
“This is going to be a new tournament and we’ll be starting afresh.
“Just because I’ve won an IPL trophy doesn’t mean that it’s going to be the same going into this tournament. I’m just looking to impress and do as best as I can.”
Being the Jozi Stars’ Protea marquee player meant Kagiso Rabada did not have to go through the draft.
However‚ he remains an important player for his team and the national team. Rabada didn’t take part in this year’s IPL due to injury.
He came back for the national team during the Sri Lanka tour and bowled well despite the difficult conditions.
Rabada said he was glad that the tournament is finally going to get off the ground
“It’s an exciting league‚” he said.
“It’s ground-breaking and it shows that we’re starting to compete with the rest of the world.
“The best thing would be that it’s going to start and the fact that it’s on SABC means that a lot more of our viewers can know about cricket.
“That’s only going to better cricket so there’s loads of potential and I think the MSL has the potential to unearth the potential‚” Rabada said.
“I’m glad it’s finally going to happen because this is something our country needed. I don’t have to leave Johannesburg because this is where everything has started for me and it’s convenient for me.”