KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union Media Release

 No: KZNCU1910

08 Aug 2018

Embargo : None

Written by: Nick Tatham

African T20 Cup draw sees Inland & Coastal in same pool

Durban – The 2018 Africa T20 Cup draw took place in Pretoria on Tuesday and saw defending champions Hollywoodbets KZN Inland as well as Hollywoodbets KwaZulu-Natal Coastals drawn in Pool A for the tournament beginning on 14 September.

Both KwaZulu-Natal teams will have their base in Pietermaritzburg and will be joined by Easterns, Western Province and newcomers Ghana for the 20 over competition.

Hollywoodbets KZN Inland have been to the Africa T20 Cup play-offs on two occasions and have made the final on both. They lost the inaugural final against Northerns and then won the competition last season.

Inland and last seasons’ losing finalists Free State are the only two team that have been to the semi-finals on more than one occasion.

"We are the defending champions and to be based at home in Maritzburg in front of our home support is always a bonus," coach Shane Burger said from Dambulla in Sri Lanka where is the assistant coach of the South Africa Emerging team.

"We are going to go into the competition with a lot of confidence and hopefully play a brand of cricket that everybody that can enjoy and familiarise with KZN Inland."

The fourth edition of the competition will be an opportunity for Hollywoodbets KZN Coastals to make a mark on the shortest format of the game. They have been disappointing in the previous editions of the competition by their standards and will be hoping to push for a play-off spot.

“I would say that we are in one of the hardest groups,” coach Roger Telemachus said. “With that said there aren’t any easy groups so we will have to play really good cricket throughout to get ourselves into those play-offs.”

The Coastal side showed their prowess in red ball cricket in the 2017-18 season when they won the Sunfoil 3-Day Cup and finished second in their CSA Provincial One Day Challenge pool. However, T20 cricket has been their downfall with only one semi-final in the previous three editions on their report card.

Being pooled with the defending champions and neighbours is an exciting prospect for Telemachus who has massive respect for coach Shane Burger and his chargers.

“They have got a great system in place in Maritzburg and they have shown in previous years what a dangerous T20 side they can be.

“As sides we know each other very well but when we are on the field it is business and then we will have a drink after the game together!

“We are not going to underestimate any of the opposition and know that getting into the semi-finals is a tough task,” a composed Telemachus added.

With both the Inland and Coastals squads being based in Pietermaritzburg, Telemachus believes that it will be an advantage.

“It is going to be nice to be close by and playing in conditions that we are familiar to.

“This might give us and Inland a slight edge but we are not going to take any of the opposition lightly and are looking forward to getting this season underway.”

Many of Telemachus’ chargers have been plying their trade in Europe over the winter period so he isn’t too concerned about the short time-frame that they have to prepare.

“We have had very few guys at home this winter and with the rest of the 20-man squad arriving on Monday we will hit the ground running with a month to go until the competition starts.

“The guys have been playing plenty of cricket so they will be well prepared for the tournament,” Telemachus added.

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Defending Africa T20 Cup champions Hollywoodbets KZN Inland will be hoping to become the first team to win the tournament twice when the fourth edition kicks off in September. Carl Fourie/
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Following a disappointing campaign in 2017, Hollywoodbets KZN Coastals and captain Khalipha Cele will want to push for higher honours in the shortest format of the game at this year's Africa T20 Cup starting in September. Louis Botha/
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