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Feature

Dewald Brevis, Tristan Stubbs, Donovan Ferreira among players who could light up SA20

Archer is set to return to action in the league after having recovered from multiple injuries

Firdose Moonda
Firdose Moonda
08-Jan-2023
Dewald Brevis brings with him brute power and IPL experience  •  Titans/ Gallo Images

Dewald Brevis brings with him brute power and IPL experience  •  Titans/ Gallo Images

The SA20 has attracted some of the biggest names in the global game, from England's Sam Curran to West Indies' Alzarri Joseph. They will play alongside South African domestic cricketers on what will be one of the biggest platforms of their careers. Tabraiz Shamsi has already lauded the league for giving players exposure and opportunity and as the tournament rolls out, there is sure to be much more. Need a reminder of some of the names? Here's a cheat sheet with a player to watch from each of the six franchises - and one extra for good measure.
Tristan Stubbs (Sunrisers Eastern Cape)
The biggest buy at the auction, with a price tag of R9.2 million (USD 520,000), Stubbs will be keen to show his worth at his home base. He was picked up by the Sunrisers Eastern Cape, based in Port Elizabeth, which is also where he began his professional career. He rose to prominence in the 2021-22 season, when he was the second-leading run-scorer in the CSA T20 Challenge, scoring 293 runs in seven innings, including three fifties, at a strike rate of 183.12. Almost two-thirds of his runs in that tournament came in boundaries. Stubbs was picked up by by Mumbai Indians for the IPL 2022, but only played two games and is expected to be much more of a feature in the SA20. He hits the ball cleanly, is quick between the wickets and is an asset on the field. We may even catch him bowling some offspin.
Dewald Brevis (MI Cape Town)
The next big thing in South African cricket has already played in the IPL and the CPL and was a pre-auction pick for MI Cape Town for SA20. Brevis is a fearless hitter with a 360-degree game and has some big numbers to his name from a small sample of matches. After finishing as the leading run-scorer in the Under-19 World Cup early last year, he was contracted to Titans and has made an almost immediate impression. He smashed a 57-ball 162 for the Titans in the CSA T20 Challenge in October and was the second-highest run-scorer in the tournament, boasting a strike rate of 176.75.
Jofra Archer (MI Cape Town)
Cape Town secured another big coup when they signed Jofra Archer as their wildcard. He is set to return to competitive cricket for the first time since March last year. Archer has been managing an elbow-injury and a lower-back stress fracture and has taken small steps to his comeback, starting with some matches with the England Lions. He has also been named in the England squad to play three ODIs against South Africa, which take place at the end of January, and the SA20 provides him with an ideal opportunity to find form ahead of the international fixtures and the IPL, where he has been retained by Mumbai Indians. At the SA20, Archer will join a pace attack that includes Sam Curran, Kagiso Rabada, Odean Smith and Olly Stone, which makes them among the most formidable in the tournament.
Josh Little (Pretoria Capitals)
"Technically the second," as the man himself put it, Irish player to play in a league with IPL association (after Eoin Morgan), Josh Little's rise in 2022 has earned him the status of a T20 superstar. He was the second-leading bowler in T20Is last year with 39 T20 wickets at 18.92 and was the joint-second-leading bowler at The Hundred with 13 wickets at an average of 8.00. He has also been contracted to the Gujarat Titans at the IPL and will now play in the SA20 for Pretoria Capitals, with a brief stop in Zimbabwe for Ireland's ODI series. Little is known for his ability to bowl at pace, exploit swing through the air and move the ball off the seam, which makes South Africa an ideal venue for him to display his talents. His fast-bowling team-mates include Anrich Nortje and Wayne Parnell which means Capitals would give Cape Town some tough competition in the pace stakes.
Quinton de Kock (Durban's Super Giants)
2022 was the leanest year of Quinton de Kock's T20I career - in terms of average (25.30) - but he had a standout IPL, where he was the third-highest run-scorer overall. After his retirement from Test cricket in 2021, there are whispers over de Kock's international future but South Africa could still get the best of him in the SA20. He has been put in charge of the Durban Super Giants despite a patchy run with international captaincy a few years ago. The good news for the Kingsmead-based side is that while de Kock seemed all at sea as a Test captain, his T20I form actually improved when he was leading South Africa. Between September 2019 and December 2020, he captained in 11 matches and scored 416 runs at 41.60, including three fifties, during the period.
Donovan Ferreira (Joburg Super Kings)
Little-known Donovan Ferreira became one of the biggest buys of the auction when the Joburg Super Kings splashed out R5.5 (USD 320,000) million for him and you may be wondering what they saw. Ferreira has played 26 T20 matches in South Africa and was the sixth-highest run-scorer at the provincial T20 cup in the 2021-22 season with 152 runs in five matches at a strike rate of 153.33. He scored an 88-ball 98 for the Titans in a one-day cup match against North-West this summer and seems to have caught the eye of those with deep pockets. Plenty will be expected of him in this competition.
Andile Phehlukwayo (Paarl Royals)
As one of the most notable names to be overlooked at the auction, Andile Phehlukwayo was given a lifeline by the Boland-based team, who signed him as their wild card, and have essentially offered him the chance to resurrect his T20 career. Phehluklwayo has fallen down the pecking order at international level, with Dwaine Pretorius and most recently Marco Jansen being preferred over him. Phehlukwayo had also missed out on selection of the last T20 World Cups. Known for his ability to bowl change-ups and his finishing skills with the bat, the SA20 is Phehlukwayo's chance to remind the selectors of his all-round skills.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent