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Cricket South Africa T20 League: CSK Johannesburg Full Squad; Faf du Plessis and Moeen Ali join franchise

Chennai, Aug 11: The Johannesburg-based franchise of the Cricket South Africa T20 League, which is owned by Indian Premier League (IPL) giants Chennai Super Kings (CSK), have reportedly roped in Faf du Plessis and Moeen Ali as the two marquee players ahead of the auctions.

According to a Cricbuzz report, the CSA has asked the franchises to submit a list of five players under the overriding principle of one South African, three overseas with not more than two from the same country, and one uncapped player.

Cricket South Africa T20 League: Players in MI Cape Town Squad; Rashid Khan, Liam Livingstone headlineCricket South Africa T20 League: Players in MI Cape Town Squad; Rashid Khan, Liam Livingstone headline

Following the same, the CSK management seems to have chosen Du Plessis and Moeen Ali. Ali - who is part of the CSK squad in the IPL - will continue to offer his services to the franchise's new offering. The England all-rounder was retained by the franchise and offered his services in the IPL 2022 season, which wasn't a memorable one for the franchise.

The England cricketer also featured in the UAE International T20 League marquee players' list but as both the leagues are going to clash with each other, Ali has decided to play in South Africa.

While Du Plessis - who had been an integral part of the CSK side until IPL 2021 - reunites with the franchise but in a different league. The 38-year-old former South Africa captain played for CSK from 2011 to 2021, except 2016 and 2017 seasons, when the franchise was suspended.

He was released by the franchise ahead of IPL 2022 Auction and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) bought him for a price of Rs 7 crore and even appointed him the skipper of the franchise. Du Plessis led from the front and took the team to playoffs in his first season as the IPL captain.

The CSK franchise, meanwhile, is yet to unveil its official name for the South Africa league and also the remaining three marquee players.

The CSA T20 League will be played between January 6 and February 12 and is set to clash with the Big Bash League (BBL) and UAE's ILT20 - which will be held in the same window. Hence, it will be interesting to see how the issue of players' availability is addressed.

As per reports, the CSK management is planning to appoint Stephen Fleming as the head coach of their Johannesburg-based team and name skipper MS Dhoni as the mentor of the team but they will require BCCI's permission for the latter.

Full Squad: Faf du Plessis (South Africa), Moeen Ali (England), Maheesh Theekshana (Sri
Lanka), Romario Shepherd (West Indies) and Gerald Coetzee (South Africa).

"As per the rules of CSA, we are eligible to take four players from the contracted list of players who are available... one marquee player from South Africa. From the balance three, not more than two can be from one country," said K S Viswanathan, CEO of Chennai Super Kings Cricket Limited.

"We have decided to pick Faf, Moeen, Maheesh and Romario as the four players who have
been contracted by Cricket South Africa.

"We are also allowed to take one development player from South Africa. We have decided on Gerald, as recommended by Faf."

On Faf du Plessis: "Faf has been a backbone of Chennai Super Kings in the IPL for the last 10 years. He has been one of the most consistent players for our team. We were not fortunate to pick him during the last auction in the IPL. We were looking for an opportunity and that came up in the CSA T20 League. We are happy that we got Faf back with the Super Kings family. It will be a very good opportunity for Faf to come back and do as well as he did for the Chennai Super Kings. His experience as South African player and captain, knowing the conditions, will be invaluable. I'm sure that with his entry into the team, we should have a good future."

On Moeen Ali: "As far as Moeen is concerned, everybody is aware of his potential as an all-rounder and his skills in white-ball cricket. We are very happy to have retained Moeen."

On Maheesh Theekshana: "Theekshana is a mystery spinner who has been doing well in white-ball cricket. In South African conditions, a spinner of his caliber will be of great advantage and I'm sure that he will be able to do well there."

On Romario Shepherd: "Romario Shepherd is an all-rounder with a lot of promise. He did well for the West Indies in the recently concluded series as well. And we hope that he'll be a good asset for the team in South Africa."

On Gerald Coetzee: "Gerald Coetzee is one of the most consistent upcoming all-rounders from South Africa. We heard that he's on the verge of making it to the next level. We're hoping that the all-rounder from South Africa will be a good addition to the team there."

"I'm sure that with the auction coming up in mid-September, we should be able to pick a good side," he concluded.

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Story first published: Tuesday, August 23, 2022, 22:46 [IST]
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