Pietermaritzburg – The Hollywoodbets Tuskers (formerly known as KZN Inland) have announced a strong squad led by new captain Michael Erlank to compete in the CSA Provincial T20 Knock Out Competition in Bloemfontein.

The T20 Knock Out got underway on Friday in a bio-bubble environment and marked the start of the 2021/2022 domestic cricket season.

However, the Pietermaritzburg-based Tuskers will only play the first match under their new name against the Mpumalanga Rhinos at the Mangaung Oval on Tuesday at 10 am. The Division 2 side, Tuskers, are in Pool B where they will be up against Division 1 teams, the Momentum Multiply Titans and ITEC Knights, and second tier side, the Rhinos.

The Tuskers, coached by Michael Smith, made some exciting signings during the off-season period with quality and experienced players such as Erlank, Cameron Delport, Tian Koekemoer, Tshepang Dithole, vice-captain Luke Schlemmer and Kyle Nipper being brought to the Pietermaritzburg City Oval.

There are also some exciting youngsters such as Andile Mogakane, Nduduzo Mfoza, Hilton College old boy Michael Sclanders and Mondli Khumalo.

However, Koekemoer will miss the T20 Knock Out due to an injury.

In preparation for the T20 Knock Out and the season ahead, Smith’s men played several pre-season games, including a couple of T20 matches against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in Maritzburg. The Tuskers manager, Jason Sathiaseelan, said they are excited that the team will finally get into some competitive action and confident they can do well against Division 1 sides.

“The guys have worked extremely hard for the last couple of months, and we are confident that the team will do well in that tough group. We are hoping to qualify for the playoffs,” Sathiaseelan said.

“The team has enough balance not only to compete but to get the results as well.

“We also want to record our sincere thanks to our sponsor, Hollywoodbets, for once again believing in this team by throwing their backing behind the Tuskers. We are looking forward to a long lasting relationship,” he concluded.  

Hollywoodbets Tuskers travelling squad: Michael Erlank, Cameron Delport, Tshepang Dithole, Keith Dudgeon, Kyle Nipper, Kurtlyn Mannikam, Andile Mogakane, Thula Ngcobo, Zac Paruk, Luke Schlemmer, Cameron Shekleton, Michael Sclanders, Nduduzo Mfoza, Mondli Khumalo, Gareth Dukes, Mathew Pollard.  

Hollywoodbets Tuskers fixtures:

V Mpumalanga Rhinos, Tuesday at 2.30 pm.

V Knights, Wednesday at 10 am.

V Titans, Thursday at 10 am.