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June 7, 2006
With Vaughn van Jaarsveld signing a three-year contract with the Lions, the team is not mourning Andrew Hall's loss to the Dolphins too much.
Vaughn van Jaarsveld, a middle-order batsman who averaged 39.41 with the Lions last season, was being lured by the Cobras to shift to the Western Cape. However, Gordon Parsons, the Lions coach, confirmed on Tuesday that he will be staying in Johannesburg for the foreseeable future.
"Vaughn has just signed a three-year contract and I'm glad because I asked him to think about principles and not just chase the money," Parsons told SuperCricket. "We've backed him for a while now. Last season he didn't start well, even though he scored a hundred first up he was only averaging 23 midway through the season, but we stuck with him and it turned out to be a breakthrough season for him. He scored three hundreds and averaged 40."
Parsons admitted that Hall was a quality player but because of his international commitments he cannot play too much for the Lions. "Last season he played just one game for the Lions. It's much easier for a coach to plan without the disruption of players coming and going.
"It's not that Andrew's upset with us - he's got some sort of lucrative job offer in Natal. A lot went against the Lions last season, but I believe we made a lot of strides in the right direction."
He also said that the Lions were working towards improving their two semifinal appearances and fourth place in the SuperSport Series last season.
Joining the team will be Tyron Henderson, the Warriors fast bowler who averaged 29.59 with the ball in the SuperSport series last season and toured Sri Lanka as part of the South Africa A side in August 2005. "Tyron can do a similar job to Andrew Hall in that he's a dynamic match-winner with the bat in one-day cricket and can provide control with the ball; he doesn't often get slapped around."
Also, Parsons will be hoping to pick Alviro Petersen, the right-hand opening batsman, who moved from the Titans to the Lions end of last season, from the start.
"For the aggression with the ball that Andrew brought I can call on Friedel de Wet and Garnett Kruger, and I have a feeling Charl Langeveldt will be available a lot more too," said Parsons .
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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