27th Sep, 2023

The SA20 2024 Auction -- MI Cape Town's Live Blog

By MI Cape Town Media

That's that then, we have our squad of 19 ready to roll, and entertain the world with our trademark MI brand of cricket. A few months too cool off now, group, prepare, strategize, and roll in to the SA20 2024 with everything to play for. Remember, there's a lot for us to avenge after last year, and another league to be conquered. Until we see you then, ta ta!! 

[Part 3/3]: Tristan Stubbs and Brevis play A team cricket, they have played for South Africa as well. Marco and Duan Jansen were similar classic cases. We will keep challenging ourselves to find them. The goal is to have consistency across all teams. It's been just under 12 months that I have been asked to do this role. A challenge for me working with all the other guys. I see a lot of talent now across the board, I get to travel to all conditions. It is new to all of us, and so it's exciting. We have got a lot of good scouts working for us in all countries. MI started that for us. It has helped us find the Pandya brothers, Ishan, Tilak. The platform is set for us to do it overseas. Some will work for us, some might not. 

[Part ⅔]: Brevis showed glimpses of what he can do in the US.  He is learning everyday. Boult has been great. Polly has been brilliant. We won two tournaments, one with the women and one in the US. We just want to be consistent, and win tournaments. Domestic tournaments like the IPL where we groom players, Jasprit Bumrah was one of those players who joined MI before he played domestic cricket. Tilak Varma is another one. Chris and Connor, we are excited about them. We have invested, and we will keep doing that as a global franchise. Unfortunately we can't have Nicholas Pooran here, but we will play him in UAE. Unfortunately these two tournaments clash. He will make a short appearance here, but it won't be too damaging. We are using all our experienced coaches to come and play with them. It is a long term goal. 

Mahela Jayawardene | Global Head of High Performance at MI: [part ⅓] “Definitely happy. A lot of people wanted us to do a lot more, but MI has been very consistent. We had a few injuries last year to some of our players, but they will all be there this time. Important thing is role clarity. Last year, we were one game off from getting into the play-offs. Rashid is going to be missing the first three games, and we might get in someone, maybe Polly (laughs). We are consistent with the group depending on their availability.” 

6:05pm SAST | 9:35pm IST: Yup, we had the first pick at the Rookie Draft, and we immediately snap up Connor Esterhuizen, a St Johns College represent, who has been a prolific run-scorer at the top of the order. 


Thomas Kaber: Hugely experienced Protean lad, having made his domestic debut for the Northerns way back in 2009, he's a proper all-rounder. An aggressive middle-order bat, a left-arm wrist-spinner, oh he's the complete package! Again, at 175k Rand. 

Nealan van Heerden: Our second pick. Another one at 175k Rand, picked after all the other teams were done with their picks. Without any bidding war, we get what we want. A right-arm quick who plays for Free State, he's going to absolutely love bowling in tandem with Kagiso Rabada and Jofra Archer! 

5:50pm SAST | 9:20 IST: We're back. The second session is here, and a total of 70 players would be coming up in serial order. A couple of teams are already done with their quota. We, meanwhile, have three more slots to fill. Here goes .. 


Session 1 ends. A short and sweet session. Not a lot of bidding wars, and MI Cape Town go for just the one player, buy him, and play out the session without any further bidding. Okay, a 20-minute break now before the next round, which will be an accelerated one. 

OUR FIRST PICK! Christopher Benjamin - the South African-born, England-bred wicket-keeper - is all set to join us! In the second set to be picked up from the bag, at his base price of R175K, he was snapped up, without a bidding war. In The Hundred, he executed a REVERSE-SCOOPED SIX, which got Kevin Pietersen to exclaim on air, “What was that!!!”. Get ready folks, let's welcome him home, and get ready to watch him smash them onto the grass banks at Newlands! 

None of the batters in the first round of the auction have been picked by MI Cape Town. 

4:45pm SAST | 8:15pm IST: Let's kick things off, shall we? How's the excitement going? How are your nails? Use them judiciously. Space them over the next two hours. 



Okay, before we kick things off, let's listen in to our young superstar, Dewald Brevis: “It has been crazy. If I have to think of the first game, I must say it is exciting. Such a great platform for them to showcase who they are. The atmosphere is  incredible. Amazing to play at home. Absolutely fantastic. The first season didn’t go as we wanted. Looking to do much better this season. Our philosophy at all our MI teams stays the same –to play an exciting brand of cricket. That is what we are looking to do in the MLC and the SA20. I always tell people, when you bat up the top of the order, you are batting and creating a situation. In the middle-order, you play the situation created by the player. I have enjoyed batting four as well. As a player, you develop wherever you bat. Good situations out there to do well for the team.” 

4:00pm SAST | 7:30pm IST: We're live. There's a bunch of interviews going on at the moment before the auction begins at 4:45pm SAST. Here's how the timings are, fyi: The first round would go on for an hour, followed by a 20-minute break, post which the express round and the draft picks would happen. 

3:45pm SAST | 7:15pm IST: Right then, our table is ready. The scene is set. Start counting it down .. 


So here are the rules for the evening: 

* Stage 1: Pre-determined sets: A total of 40 players would be coming up in the first round

* Stage 2: Express (accelerated auction): All unsold players from the first stage, and players nominated by the franchises will come up for the auction. After this stage, the franchises will have filled 17 slots (plus one wild card player slot).   

* Stage 3: The rookie draft: All South African players under the age of 22 who haven’t been picked up at the Auction would be available for selection. MI Cape Town will have the first pick.  

3:30pm SAST | 7:00pm IST: Four slots. 5.05 million Rand. Welcome, to what is set to be a short, crisp, intense evening in Johannesburg. Welcome, to the SA20 2024 Auction, where we, at MI Cape Town, will take you through the beats of the event through our Blue and Gold lens as give our squad of 19 its finishing touches. Bring it on! 

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