Jean de Villiers' captaincy skills will be put to a new test when he leads a Springbok XI in their T20 Challenge match against the Proteas at Sahara Park Newlands on Friday, 3 January 2014.
This match (18h00 CAT start) will be the highlight of the opening day of the Cell C Festival of Cricket which also includes the North vs. South T20 Challenge, sponsored by Momentum Multiply, on Saturday, 4 January 2014 and the opening round of the RAM SLAM T20, featuring all six franchises on Sunday, 5 January 2014.
There will also be signing sessions, musical entertainment and a host of other fun activities.
The Springboks have named the following XI for this historic encounter: Jean de Villiers (captain), Willem Alberts, Bismarck du Plessis, Butch James, Fabian Juries, Tiaan Liebenberg, Willie le Roux, Victor Matfield, Frans Steyn, Flip van der Merwe, Franco van der Merwe.
“We are really looking forward to this historic match,” said De Villiers. “We are all very keen cricket supporters and we would like to urge all supporters to come out to Newlands and share in a fun evening and cheer on your favourite team.”
Former Springbok captain Bob Skinstad has been appointed as Manager of the Springbok XI.
“This is a very talented group of men and I’m really excited to see how they perform against some of the top cricketers in the world,” said Skinstad.
Most of the players attended schools with strong cricketing traditions such as Grey College, Maritzburg College, Paarl Gymnasium and Paul Roos Gymnasium before opting to pursue rugby careers.
Former Springbok captain Victor Matfield was good enough as a fast bowler and big-hitting batsman to earn provincial age group colours while Butch James is a multi-talented sportsman.
Although the Springbok XI will start the match as underdogs, two things are certain: the likes of Flip van der Merwe, Bismarck du Plessis and Willem Alberts should have little difficulty in clearing the boundary ropes while others such as Willie le Roux and Fabian Juries should be masters of sharp running between the wickets.
Tickets can be purchased through www.ticketpros.co.za, the Sahara Park Newlands Ticket Office or at Postnet Outlets. There is a discount on a season ticket for all three days.