Parnell has not played competitive cricket since January and last represented South Africa in October 2017 but will make his return in the Global T20 Canada League later this month, where he has been signed by the Edmonton Royals. Participation in that tournament and regular franchise appearances on the South African domestic scene could allow Parnell to push for a place in the 2019 World Cup squad.
The Cobras have also secured the services of veteran Rory Kleinveldt across all formats and have retained nationally contracted players Hashim Amla, Vernon Philander and JP Duminy. Temba Bavuma, who spent a season in the Cape, has returned to the Lions. Dane Paterson and Dane Piedt are their other players with international experience.
Among their new acquisitions is batsman Janneman Malan from North West. Malan is the younger brother of Pieter, who already plays at the Cobras, and was named CSA's three-day cricketer of the year at the recent awards ceremony. In the bowling department, Tladi Bokako joins Cobras from the Warriors.
The Cobras have also elevated provincial semi-professional players David Bedingham, the leading run-scorer for Boland in both the three-day and fifty-over competitions last season, Mthiwekhaya Nabe, a nominee for the domestic newcomer of the season at the CSA awards and allrounder Ferisco Adams to full franchise contracts.
The Cobras did not win any of the three competitions last season but coach Ashwell Prince believes they are shaping up strongly in the 2018-19 summer. "The team is not only in a rebuilding phase, but is there to compete and win trophies. And what makes this squad so good is its versatility, because 90% or more will be vying for spots in all three formats."
Cobras squad: Ferisco Adams, Hashim Amla, David Bedingham, JP Duminy, Dayyaan Galiem, Zubayr Hamza, Simon Khomari, Rory Kleinveldt, George Linde, Janneman Malan, Pieter Malan, Aviwe Mgijima, Mthiwekhaya Nabe, Wayne Parnell, Dane Paterson, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Jason Smith, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams