Jofra Archer SA20: The inaugural season of South Africa’s very own league SA20 is scheduled to start early next year. A few months ago, over 100 contenders went under the hammer as Cricket South Africa (CSA) galvanized the entire cricketing fraternity. After a successful auction, the franchises were asked to pick a wild card player, who would be directly drafted into their squad.
The deadline for signing a Proteas or international player who was not registered for the auction was December 30. Graeme Smith, the commissioner of SA20, believes the addition of a wild card will assist teams to add more depth alongside elevating their strength. Furthermore, he said, “The wild card offers our teams an opportunity to add another world-class player to their squad.”
A total of six teams, namely, Joburg Super Kings, Paarl Royals, Durban’s Super Giants, Pretoria Capitals, Sunrisers Eastern Cape, and MI Cape Town, will be the face of the league for the initial season. All these teams are owned by franchise owners of the fabled Indian Premier League (IPL).
MI Cape Town, the counterpart of Mumbai Indians in IPL, becomes the first team to exercise the wild card feature. On Wednesday, they announced the English pacer Jofra Archer, who was sidelined due to an injury for IPL 2022, will take part in SA20 before scorching back into internationals.
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Mumbai Indians recruited Archer for Rs 8 crore at the most recent IPL auction despite clear evidence that he would not be accessible. More recently, the Rohit Sharma-based franchise has retained him ahead of the 16th edition of IPL in 2023.
The express pace bowler last played an international game against India in Ahmedabad, in March 2021. An everlasting elbow injury that was followed by a lower back stress fracture prevented the Barbadian-born cricketer from playing international cricket since 2021.
Nonetheless, the 27-year-old returned to competitive cricket on Wednesday and seemed treacherous in a tour match in Abu Dhabi. Archer took 0-38 from nine overs on the opening day of the three-day game. Additionally, he struck Zak Crawley in the grille with a nasty bouncer.
From an overall perspective, the World Cup winner has claimed 46 IPL scalps for Rajasthan Royals in 35 matches with an economy of 7.13. Owing to injury, Archer was left out of the English squad for T20 World Cup 2021 and 2022. MI Cape Town took it to social media and announced the arrival of their newest signing. They tweeted the following:
MI Cape Town Complete Squad:
Kagiso Rabada, Dewald Brevis, Rashid Khan, Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Rassie van der Dussen, Ryan Rickelton, George Linde, Beuran Hendricks, Duan Jansen, Delano Potgieter, Grant Roelofsen, Wesley Marshall, Olly Stone, Waqar Salamkheil, Ziyaad Abharams, Odean Smith, and Jofra Archer.
Simon Katich, the former Australian batter, has been designated as the head coach of MI Cape Town while former South African opener and having played enough cricket in Cape Town, Hashim Amla has been appointed as the batting coach of the franchise. Meanwhile, James Pamment and Robin Peterson have been appointed as fielding coach and General manager respectively.
The Cape Town-based franchise will play the inaugural game of SA20 against Paarl Royals on 10th January 2023. The encounter would also be played on Newlands, which would act as the home venue for MI Cape Town.