Paarl Royals lock in JP Duminy as head coach for inaugural season of SA20

by IANS |

Paarl, Sep 15 (IANS) Former South Africa all-rounder JP Duminy has been named head coach of Paarl Royals, the Royal Sports Group-owned franchise for the inaugural edition of Cricket South Africa's officially sanctioned league - SA20, which is scheduled to kick off in January 2023.

Duminy -- known for his explosive and impactfull batting in the middle order, wily off-spin and energetic demeanour on the field -- will be joined by a coaching team of Richard Das Neves, Mandla Mashimbyi, Mark Charlton, Lisa Keightley and Russel Aspeling in their respective roles as Paarl Royals revealed their coaching staff which will set the groundwork for the to-be-assembled playing squad, along with guiding and preparing them at the inaugural edition of SA20.

Duminy, the 38-year-old left-hander, hung up his cricketing boots in 2019, the same year when he also lifted the Caribbean Premier League trophy with Paarl Royals' partner franchise, the Barbados Royals (then known as Barbados Tridents), the franchise said in a release on Thursday.

He has since stepped into the coaching ecosystem, serving as a Strategic Consultant to the South African men's team in 2021 and as a batting consultant to the domestic side Lions. Notably, his most recent stint has been in the role of head coach of Paarl-based provincial side Boland, as well as the Paarl Rocks domestic T20 side.

"I have always had a very close connection with Paarl, having played plenty of my cricket at Boland Park, and hence it's an honour for me to have been appointed as the Head Coach of the Paarl Royals. It is an exciting time for everyone associated with South African cricket and I'm really looking forward to working with some exceptional international and local players," Duminy was quoted as saying in a release.

"The shared knowledge and experience in the dressing room is what I'm most excited about and having the privilege to facilitate and unlock our abilities together with my coaching/management staff," stated Duminy.

Having signed a strong core in the form of England's star batter Jos Buttler, West Indies' canny pacer Obed McCoy and South Africa's exciting duo of David Miller and Corbin Bosch, head coach Duminy will be joined by some familiar names in South Africa's cricketing coaching circuit.

Richard Das Neves, who represented Gauteng during his playing days as a bowling all-rounder, will be shouldering the duties of strategy and spin bowling coach.

With a wealth of experience under his belt through various coaching roles in domestic cricket, mainly with the Titans, and international coaching stints with Namibia and Hong Kong, Das Neves will be aiding the bowling department in strategising for the SA20.

Former Titans and Northerns' pacer Mandla Mashimbyi, will serve as the fast bowling coach with proven expertise under his belt. Among many of his crucial spells in domestic cricket, the 41-year-old was also associated with the South African national side as their fast bowling coach for a brief period last year.

Mark Charlton, who was awarded 'Division 2 Coach of the Season Award' at Cricket South Africa's annual awards last month, will serve as the Royals' batting coach while former Australian two-time Women's World Cup winner Lisa Keightley joins the support staff as the tactical performance coach.

The Boland Park-based franchise also announced the appointment of Russel Aspeling as the Team Catalyst, a designation that was first coined by the Royals for the IPL 2022 season, being undertaken by the experienced Paddy Upton.

The Paarl Royals coaching staff will be supported by the Royals' Director of Cricket, Kumar Sangakkara along with Strategy, Development and Performance Director, Zubin Bharucha, throughout the season.

AT Rajamani, who has served Rajasthan Royals in the IPL and is also present with Barbados Royals in the CPL this season, will assume the role of Strength and Conditioning Coach. The central analytics team of the Royals will also be present on-ground to provide their insights.

"Paarl Royals is a team that is entrenched with the objective of providing the right opportunities to the people in South Africa, whether that is for the talented cricket-playing youth or for those who want to give back to the game through coaching. Having started off by securing a strong core of players in Jos, David, Obed and Corbin, we are now delighted to have recruited some of the sharpest minds in South African cricket," stated Royals' Director of Cricket Kumar Sangakkara.

"JP, Mark, Richard, Mandla, Russel and Lisa have all been very successful in their respective roles across teams and also understand the local ecosystem well. We believe that utilizing key learnings from within the IPL will only help us replicate the Royals' brand of entertaining and passionate cricket in South Africa and will make everyone associated with Paarl extremely happy and proud as we kick off this new journey," he added.

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