Wayne Parnell will make a dramatic and unexpected return to the black and lime colours of the Warriors for their Ram Slam T20 Challenge match against the Lions in Potchefstroom tonight.
Coach Malibongwe Maketa confirmed yesterday he had secured Parnell on a loan deal from the Cobras for the Warriors’ penultimate round-robin match.
It is not certain whether Parnell will play for the Eastern Cape side in their final match against the Cobras in East London on Sunday.
What is known, though, is that the Warriors need to win both matches to have a sniff of qualifying for the semi-finals and Maketa feels allrounder Parnell will add value to that cause.
“Parnell is a good acquisition for us, even if it is for only one game. He knows the guys well so it is an easy fit for us,” Maketa said yesterday.
Parnell, who left the Warriors for the Cobras two seasons ago, has been surplus to Cobras requirements this season having played in only two of their eight matches in the campaign.
He has been expensive with the ball having bowled just less than five overs for 56 runs. With the bat in hand the former Grey High star has managed 35 runs in his two innings.
Roping in loan players in nothing new to the Warriors.
Last season they had Qaasim Adams on loan from the Titans and then also Tabraiz Shami early this season for the same franchise for the Sunfoil Series.
Both players failed to make a significant impact but Maketa is hoping Parnell will buck that trend.
Meanwhile, the Warriors coach says he is guarding his players from thinking they have nothing to lose in their matches this weekend.
“At the end of the day it is important for us to remain in a good mental state.
“Nothing to lose may just mean kamikaze cricket which is not how we play,” said Maketa.
“We want to make sure that we’re mentally and physically ready. It’s important that we execute our skills under pressure because it is a pressure game.
“They [the Lions and Cobras] are two solid teams. We did well against the Lions in the first game so we are taking positive memories to Potch.
“It’s also a pitch that comes on and it’s something we need to adapt to because we’ve played on slower pitches of late. But we looking forward to the challenge.”
Maketa admitted the campaign had been tough with so many Proteas players in opposition sides.
“We’ve really given it everything we have. We have prepared well and we cannot fault the players’ character. We have come up against good teams. If you look back at all the scores, most of the Proteas have hurt us quite a lot.
“But it’s been a blessing for us in a sense because it’s shown us where we need to be to get to the elite level.”