Monde Zondeki will play for Western Province Boland next season, after announcing his move from the Warriors, the Port Elizabeth based franchise. The change of team had been muted for some time, but a firm offer has now been received, although his appearances may be limited after his recent return to the national side.
Greg Hayes, the acting CEO of the Border Cricket Board, told the Sapa news agency: "He goes with our blessing. Naturally we're disappointed at his leaving but we accept his decision and wish him well." Mickey Arthur, the Warrior's coach, is disappointed to see Zondeki leave, but believes they have played a part in his return to the South African Test side. "We are of course disappointed but at the same time pleased for Monde. I feel, however, our coaching staff have done their duty. We got him back in the national team and he now leaves with our blessing."
Zondeki revealed his reasons for leaving the Warriors on the eve of flying out to the West Indies on his second overseas tour. "Cape Town is like my second home," he said. "I was brought up by my aunt, and whenever I have some free time I stay with her in Cape Town. It's really not a cricketing decision. I've been very happy playing for the Border Bears and the Warriors and they have really looked after me, even during my schooldays, but I've made up my mind now to move to Cape Town."
Zondeki has had a difficult couple of years, after taking a wicket with his first ball in international cricket, against Sri Lanka at Bloemfontein in 2002, suffering a run of injuries that has restricted his opportunities. He made his Test debut against England, at Headingley in 2003, but had more impact with the bat than the ball, making 59, before a side injury restricted him to just 4.5 wicketless overs. But his Test comeback, against Zimbabwe at Centurion Park, was more successful. He took nine wickets in the match, including a career-best 6 for 39 in the second innings, which secured him a South African contract and a place on the West Indies tour.