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Johannesburg franchise ropes in Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Maheesh Theekshana for the inaugural CSA T20 League

Moeen and Theekshana are currently a part of Chennai in the Indian T20 League.

The Johannesburg franchise, owned by the owners of Indian T20 League team Chennai, have roped in several marquee players for the inaugural edition of the Cricket South Africa (CSA) T20 League. This includes former South African skipper Faf du Plessis, who earlier played for the Chennai franchise. The Johannesburg team has also signed up contracts with Moeen Ali, Maheesh Theekshana, Romario Shepherd, and Gerald Coetzee.

Among the five players, Moeen Ali and Theekshana are currently part of the Chennai set-up in the Indian T20 League. The inclusion of du Plessis was on expected lines as he was associated with the Men in Yellow for many years. The du Plessis-Chennai association, which ran from 2011 to 2021, barring 2016 and 2017 when the franchise was suspended from Indian T20 League, was broken when the ace batter moved to the Bangalore franchise ahead of the 2022 edition. South Africa’s new T20 League has given a new life to the du Plessis-Chennai bond.

Both Moeen Ali and du Plessis are currently featuring in The Hundred competition in England, while the West Indies all-rounder Romario Shepherd was part of the West Indies T20I team for the three match-series against New Zealand.

As far as Gerald Coetzee goes, the South African youngster is yet to make his debut in the International circuit but has 83 wickets to his name, combining first-class, List A, and T20 cricket. Gerald was picked after du Plessis recommended him.

“As per the rules of CSA, we are eligible to take four players from the contracted list of players who are available… one marquee player from South Africa. From the balance, three, not more than two can be from one country,” K. S Viswanathan, the CEO of Chennai franchise, was quoted as saying after the signings.

“We have decided to pick Faf, Moeen, Maheesh and Romario as the four players who have been contracted by Cricket South Africa. We are also allowed to take one development player from South Africa. We have decided on Gerald, as recommended by Faf,” he stated.

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