Mgijima could open batting at Africa T20 Cup

An opening spot for Aviwe Mgijima in the two warm-up matches against Northerns forms part of Western Province’s build-up to the Africa T20 Cup in Benoni.

Along with Mgijima, coach Salieg Nackerdien’s team possesses a very strong line-up, including the likes of Jason Smith, Dayyaan Galiem and Qaasim Adams, who can make life miserable for Namibia, their opponents on 25th August, South Western Districts (26th August) and Easterns (27th August).

Nackerdien said the fact that many of the practices had been completed indoors, it made life challenging for Western Province, but they will benefit from the two warm-up games against Northerns outdoors on Wednesday.

Nackerdien said he deliberately wanted Mgijima to open in order to broaden his player experience. The promotion is also a vote of confidence in the skills of Mgijima, who is a vastly experienced player, having plied his trade in first-class matches since 2007.

“He experienced a very good season, and now it is about converting those half-centuries into tons. This selection as opener is about the continuous development of Aviwe,” he said.

“It is important to produce a good base with minimal damage done to the top-order, as we have several players who can be devastating in the middle-order. We have batting depth up to number eight.

“I am very excited about our bowling attack, not only for the Africa T20 Cup, but also leading up to the first-class season,” Nackerdien added.

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Emmanuel Sebareme showed his mettle in the previous edition of the Africa T20 Cup and could be a bowling ace as off-spinner for Western Province.

Yet, although Nackerdien is very optimistic, the top-order will ensure whether the balanced and exciting Western Province advance to the semi-finals or not.

The squad is: Jean Strydom, Aviwe Mgijima, Jason Smith, Qaasim Adams (capt), Dayyaan Galiem, Carlos Koyana, Michael Loubser, Emannuel Sebareme, Travis Muller, Mpilo Njoloza, Michael Cohen, Mthiwekhaya Nabe, Luke Philander