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- Sunrisers Eastern Cape captain Aiden Markram is looking forward to wearing the captain’s armband in next week’s SA20.
- The inaugural SA20 gets under way from Tuesday with the Sunrisers playing their first game on Thursday at St George’s Park.
- Markram, who was dropped from the Proteas Test side, is eager to perform in the new T20 competition.
Sunrisers Eastern Cape captain Aiden Markram says he is looking forward to leading a team once again ahead of the inaugural SA20.
The SA20 starts on Tuesday with MI Cape Town hosting Royal Paarls in the T20 opener at Newlands.
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Markram was dropped from the Proteas’ Test team and did not take part in South Africa’s disastrous 2-0 Test series defeat against Australia.
“It was nice. Last year was quite busy, so to have the festive season off with family and friends, it’s been a while since I’ve had that. It was very refreshing,” Markram told reporters on Saturday in an SA20 captain’s press conference.
“We (Sunrisers) have quite a young group, so hopefully, we can bring that exuberance of youth to the forefront and play some entertaining cricket.
“There is a good fan base down in Gqeberha, and hopefully, we can fill the stadium.”
Markram will once again don orange, as he did last season in the Indian Premier League for the Sunrisers Hyderabad, but now he’ll captain the Gqeberha-base franchise.
The Sunrisers Eastern Cape get their SA20 campaign under way against the Pretoria Capitals on Thursday at St George’s Park.
Markram, who was once pegged to be a future Proteas captain, is refreshed from the festive break and hopes to lead from the front.
“In terms of leadership, I’m really excited about it. It’s been a while since I’ve captained a team, so I’m really looking forward to it,” said Markram.
“It might take the odd practice game here and there sort of just to remember how things go, but luckily we’ve got the next few days [to] tap into the knowledge of our management.
“There’s quite a lot of experience and then the new young ideas from the guys in the team.
“If we can balance those two together, hopefully, get on the right path and play some good cricket as a team. I’m looking forward to the tournament.”
Play on Thursday starts at 17:30.
Sunrisers Eastern Cape squad:
Aiden Markram, Ottneil Baartman, Marco Jansen, Tristan Stubbs, Sisanda Magala, Junaid Dawood, Mason Crane, Jon-Jon Smuts, Jordan Cox, Adam Rossington, Roelof van der Merwe, Marques Ackerman, James Fuller, Brydon Carse, Sarel Erwee, Aya Gqamane, Tom Abell