Tshwane Spartans coach Mark Boucher is expecting "great things" from Tom Curran, the England and Surrey allrounder who will join his team as their marquee international signing for the upcoming second edition of the Mzansi Super League.
Curran, 24, was part of England's World Cup winning squad, and has been capped across all three formats. Boucher hopes Curran will bring some of the expertise and energy he gained from being part of England's campaign, to the MSL.
"He's come from an environment in which England just won a World Cup, so that can only be good," Boucher said. "He's been in that side for a while. He's been a performer at county level and for England, I'm looking forward to great things from him over here. He brings a wealth of experience but he sounds like a nice team-man as well."
Boucher has one former team-mate - AB de Villiers - in his squad and will come up against another when the competition begins in November. Gary Kirsten, who played in 167 international games alongside Boucher and also coached him at international level, has been confirmed as head coach of Durban Heat.
"It's always a pleasure being in Gary's company, whether as a player with him, whether batting with him or whether he was my coach as was the case at the end of my career," Boucher said. "It will be nice to have a coffee with him, check how things are going, catch up with his family.
"He'll be excited to get involved in this league and I'm sure we'll have some nice competitive chats while we play against each other, which is the way it should be. It's a very good thing for South African cricket that he is involved in this competition."
Boucher admitted that the inaugural edition of the MSL experienced some "teething problems", but he remains optimistic about the future of the competition in his second season as Spartans' coach.
"There are so many different competitions around the world at the moment. It's almost that you felt South Africa had to have its own competition as well," Boucher said.
"We had some teething problems last year and hopefully we learned from those and we can move on and make it even bigger and better. There are so many competitions, that have done really well; the IPL, the Big Bash [League], but those have got their problems as well, so we just need to manage things well and hopefully the competition goes from strength to strength."
Spartans stumbled through the first MSL season last year, finishing fifth out of six teams by winning just four of their 10 matches and missing out on a playoff spot. But there were some successes on the field too, and seamer Lutho Sipamla was one of the finds of the tournament. He burst onto the scene to finish as the joint second-highest wicket-taker with 16 dismissals, and had made his T20I debut for South Africa by the end of the season.
"A guy like Lutho comes into the equation, he had a fantastic season with the Warriors and a great season last time for us at the Spartans," Boucher said. "It's a reward for guys doing well, but also mixed with a bit of talent that we see, that we can work in this environment that can take their game a step forwards."
Sipamla will likely open the bowling alongside Lungi Ngidi, who was part of the Spartans squad last season but played no part in the competition after injuring his knee in the field while on tour in Australia.
"We lost Lungi at the beginning of the competition. He was our first pick - that happens, you have guys who get injured which put us on the back foot straight away. Hopefully this year we keep all our players on the field and we can be more prepared on the field as well."