“Most of the players are on the sub-continent at the moment,” commented the Western Province coach, “either with South Africa A in India or with the SA Emerging Squad in Sri Lanka. “I have spoken to all of them to make sure that they are sharpening their skills but it is far better for them to be involved in competitive international cricket than being back here at the moment.
“You can’t practise outdoors here until mid-September and, as luck would have it, our pool is the first in action in the first week of the month.
“Dane Vilas and Omphile Ramela are both coming off excellent innings for South Africa in their four-day Test matches while Zubayr Hamza and Lesiba Ngoepe were the leading runs scorers for the Emerging team in their first ODI.
“These players will return home on Monday week and should be at perfect pitch for our Pool A matches at Sahara Park Willowmoore which start four days later. As it is we only have one practice session when we get to Benoni.
“I only have three players in Cape Town at the moment and they are practising at the Bishops Indoor Centre to keep them ticking over.”
Davids acknowledged that Western Province were in a tough pool with Northerns, Zimbabwe and hosts Easterns.
“Fortunately we have a good contingent of senior players such as Vilas and Wayne Parnell and they have been round the block a few times and know exactly what to expect and the standard of play that will be required to keep winning.”
Western Province squad: Pieter Malan (capt), Dane Vilas, Omphile Ramela, Lesiba Ngoepe, Zubayr Hamza, Aviwe Mgijima, Wayne Parnell, George Linde, Dayyaan Galiem, Emmanuel Seberame, Dane Paterson, Travis Muller, Jack Newby
Support Staff: Faiek Davids (head coach), Dieter Swanepoel (fitness trainer), Paul Adams (franchise coach)