A good build-up to the tournament will see the University of Johannesburg team approaching the Varsity Cricket week in a positive frame of mind.
Starting in Potchefstroom on January 29, eight top South African universities will contest the Twenty20 tournament, preparing themselves for a tough stretch in the game’s most frenetic format.
UJ coach Dumisa Makalima said he felt his squad had as good a chance as anyone else thanks to their work ethic and the experience they received from being part of a Twenty20 competition in Johannesburg.
“The boys have trained really hard and we have done a lot of work focused on what is needed at the Varsity week,” he said.
“Also, playing in a T20 competition enabled us to do a lot of simulation of what will face us in Potchefstroom.
“So everything seems to be on track at this stage.”
He added that the tournament could be influenced by the Power Play Plus rule.
It gives a team double the number of runs they score during an over of their choice and allows the batting side to select the bowler they would like to face.
And for every wicket they lose during that over, the batting side lose five runs.
Makalima said the rule could be a “definite game-changer”.
“I feel the team that use this rule to its best effect and take it at the right time can go far in the tournament.”
The UJ squad is: Ryan Rickleton (capt), Neels Bergh (vice-capt), Josh Richards, Juan Landsberg, Delano Potgieter, Michael Mahlaba, Justin Watson, Zane Green, Tristan Blackie-Roden, Tumelo Thlokwe, Andrew Rasemene, Cameron Brunner, Chad Claasen, Matt Varner.