Gulam Bodi moves from Titans to Lions
Gulam Bodi, who has played two ODIs and a Twenty20 international for South Africa, has moved from the Titans to the Lions franchise with immediate effect. The Titans announced on Saturday that Bodi would be leaving, after having been with them for six seasons.
Bodi has followed the same route as left-arm spinner Paul Harris, who moved from the Titans to the Lions in April 2010. Legspinner Imran Tahir also left the Titans last year, moving to the Dolphins in March.
The switch has come after Bodi found himself on the fringes of the Titans side instead of being a regular opening batsman. "It is with much regret that this season has not progressed for me as I would have liked," Bodi said. He was sidelined largely because of the return of Jacques Rudolph to the franchise this season.
In an attempt to resurrect his career, Bodi has signed with the Lions just in time for the Standard Bank Pro20 competition, which starts on Friday. It's a home-coming for the 32-year-old Bodi who first started playing cricket for what was then Gauteng. "I'm really looking forward to be playing for my home team again, something that I have always wanted. This is where I started my career and I believe that I still have plenty to offer," he said. Bodi also plied his trade at Kwa-Zulu Natal before he joined the Titans.
The Lions, who finished as runners up in the Standard Bank Pro20 last season, have made it a priority to end in the top two again, in order to ensure representation in the Twenty20 Champions League. Bodi will be essential to their plans and is likely to challenge one of Jonathan Vandiar or Jean Symes for a spot at the top of the order.
Bodi will be reunited with former Titans coach Dave Nosworthy, as well as Harris, at the Wanderers and the coach is looking forward to having one of his old charges back. "Gulam will be an asset, both on and off the field with his superb track record and playing experience. I've no doubt that he will fit in well," Nosworthy said.
Having made his first-class debut in 1996/97, Bodi made his entry into limited-overs cricket three seasons later. He has a first-class average of 32.70 and a List A average of 32.88. He was selected to play for South Africa on their 2001 tour of the West Indies but had to withdraw after breaking a finger. He was also part of South Africa's World Twenty20 squad in 2007.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent