De Kock bound for Titans, Parnell to Cobras
Quinton de Kock and Wayne Parnell are the two nationally contracted players who have opted to change franchises ahead of the 2015-16 summer. Both are leaving the teams where their careers began with De Kock moving from Lions to Titans and Parnell from Warriors to Cobras.
De Kock's shift is more surprising because he was quite close to Lions' head coach Geoffrey Toyana, who oversaw an important phase of his career when he was trying to break into international cricket. After de Kock had an unsuccessful start with a particularly poor tour of Sri Lanka in 2013, Toyana spent many hours in the nets with him to hone his game. The results were stand out - de Kock reeled off three centuries in succession against India, became South Africa's regular limited-overs opener and wicketkeeper and started his Test career as well.
In the process, de Kock also earned IPL deals, first with Sunrisers Hyderabad and then Delhi Daredevils where he would have worked closely with Rob Walter, Titans' head coach for two seasons after a long stint as South Africa's fitness and fielding coach. Titans won their first trophy under Walter, the one-day cup in the 2014-15 season, after sharing the trophy with the Cobras the year before.
Walter has two more years in charge and will be targeting more silverware. De Kock will add to a squad that has already poached another Lions player, Chris Morris and two other glovemen. Heino Kuhn and Mangaliso Mosehle may give him a break from being behind the stumps. The situation will not be too unusual for de Kock, who also found himself with a clutch of keepers at the Lions. Thami Tsolekile and Dominic Hendricks both play at Lions and have been retained for next season.
At the coastal end of the country, Parnell travels from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town for "lifestyle" reasons according to his agent Donne Commins. While his move has left the Eastern Cape based franchise without one of their senior bowlers, it has added to the embarrassment of riches in the Western Cape. Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Rory Kleinveldt, Justin Kemp, Dane Piedt and Robin Peterson make up the international component of the Cobras attack while they also have promising youngsters in Dane Paterson and Mthokozisi Shezi, who, like Parnell, is a left-arm seamer.
The only solace for the other franchises is that Cobras' national players do not often turn out for them because of international commitments and Parnell is likely to be no different. When he is available, coach Paul Adams intends to use him as a "fully-fledged allrounder."
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent