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Blogs - through my eyes

Blows... and new Challenges!!

Unfortunately for the Highveld Lions, our participation in the CLT20 was short-lived. It is with much regret that we could not progress to the latter stages of the competition. As captain, I had great expectations for the campaign but this was a knockout tournament and we could not bring our best performances when it mattered most.

The competition was not a total failure; we looked promising in some games and at times built decent partnerships. Hampered by injuries to key players we had to re shuffle our batting line up and make tactical changes to our approach. T20 places a huge emphasis on key players, more so than perhaps in any format of the game. It was important that we had our influential players fit, so it did not help when we lost Gulam Bodi (last year’s CLT20 second highest run scorer) to a hand injury and having Neil McKenzie unavailable for selection because of a side injury. This all happened before the first game, the one in which we hoped to hit the ground running.

Following on from this our first game against Perth Scorchers was abandoned which was another turn of misfortune. Even at this stage we still felt we could achieve in this competition given the strength of our bowling attack which has been our main asset in recent times. Admittedly in the next two games against the Royals and Mumbai we were outplayed but we can take heart from the fact we put up a brave fight with the ball against strong outfits that were competing on home soil.

Although as a team and as individuals we must accept that we were outplayed we must take some positives. It was a great learning experience, given the pressure our guys were put under we could not have asked for better preparation for an exciting domestic season that awaits us. The continued development of our young batsmen Quinton De Kock is also promising; his innings in the last game Otago Volts was magnificent. His 109* not out was evidence that this team has a great future and that we should not let the disappointing outcome of this competition deter us from moving in the right direction.

I hope we can return to South Africa, train hard, get into the right frame of mind for our return to the domestic fixture list. Forgetting the frustration of our time here in India will enable us to focus on our new goals and objectives for the season ahead. Personally, I am fully committed to continuing the progress of Lions cricket; our team has a leadership group backed by the board and is not afraid to make unpopular decisions as it is the team that matters most.

In terms of the new season, I expect competition for a place in the side will be high. Selection to the team will continue to be based on the progress of the team and not the skill or experience of the individual. Despite our unsuccessful time in India long may Lions cricket continue to be a competitive outfit and a great environment to enjoy cricket.

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Alviro Petersen is committed to the development and empowerment of disadvantaged communities. The Alviro Petersen Foundation is a registered non-profit organization and invest in projects that focus on education and community upliftment.

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