Gwavu and Khan’s cricket stars shine bright
The domestic cricket season may have ended prematurely because of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19)‚ but it will be one to remember for Lions coach Wandile Gwavu and his Dolphins counterpart Imraan Khan.
More importantly‚ it again was the season of the young coach following on from Enoch Nkwe’s astonishing success last season with three trophies out of four.
While there’s been a school of thought that’s lamented a lack of experienced middle-aged coaches‚ SA’s young coaches have done what’s expected of them.
It bodes well for the nation's cricketing future‚ especially with the rough international summer SA experienced with their new coaching staff.
At 33 and 35 respectively‚ Gwavu and Khan are young coaches who’ll have a lot to give to the South African game.
WANDILE GWAVU — Lions
Having worked with Nkwe‚ Gwavu knew what was in front of him and he largely succeeded in the Four-Day game.
It was critical that the success Nkwe had with the Lions was sustained and that was the case with the Lions.
They were starting to falter before the limited overs break when they suffered two consecutive losses to the Titans and the Dolphins‚ but they had a formidable team that should have had the beating of the Cape Cobras and the Warriors in their final two matches.
Those matches aren’t going to take place‚ but the fact that they were more than competitive in the Momentum 1-Day Cup showed they’d shrugged off their four-day game flu.
It would have been an interesting tussle if the sides had met in the 1-Day Cup final‚ but that wasn’t the case.
IMRAAN KHAN — Dolphins
The boots left by Grant Morgan were pretty big to fill for Khan‚ but the overall improvement by the Dolphins was great to see.
They were slow starters in the Four-Day Franchise Series but they’d won two of their last three games after losing three of their first five fixtures.
The manner in which they’d got their red-ball act together reflected in how they consistently performed in the Momentum 1-Day Cup.
Their adaptability was evident throughout the tournament as they won on a variety of surfaces‚ even though spin was their strength.
It would have been interesting to see how they would have played in the play-offs if the circumstances had allowed‚ but Khan has a young and talented team at his disposal that should get better if the franchise is able to retain the players.