Cape Town — The Titans have announced their new contracted squad for the 2019/20 season, with four new players added to the roster.
Marcello Piedt, the 26-year-old South-Western Districts seamer, highly-rated 22-year-old all-rounder Dayyaan Galiem, bowling all-rounder Matthew Arnold, and Neil Brand, the exciting University of Pretoria (TUKS) top-order batsman and slow left-arm spinner, are the new faces on the contracted list.
"The last season was tough for us, we found gaps in our system and we need to shape up for 2019/20. We have signed guys who have done very well in the semi-pro competitions. They're exciting cricketers, I know what these guys can do and this is their reward," said coach Mark Boucher.
"They're up-and-coming guys who have been on the fringes, now they have the opportunity to put their hands up in franchise cricket.
"I know what to expect from these guys, it's a good stepping-stone for them. We want to create Proteas, but when players leave for international cricket we must have cover."
Piedt has a prolific first-class record of 187 wickets in 55 matches at an average of just 23.85, and will be eager to gain regular exposure at franchise level for the first time, having played two 50-over games for the Sky Blues on loan.
"I had a brief look at Marcello in the Momentum One-Day Cup and I was impressed with what I saw," said Boucher.
Galiem joins the Titans from the Cape Cobras, for whom he made just nine appearances in three seasons, while the 30-year-old Arnold has been given a Titans contract for the first time since 2008/9.
"Dayyaan has good stats, he's a youngster who might find this environment rewarding and a boost for his career, while Matthew has done very well for Easterns over a number of years and did really well for us in the Momentum One-Day Cup final," noted Boucher.
Although Brand has played just the one first-class game for the Titans, he was the leading run-scorer, man of the match in the final and player of the tournament as he led TUKS to the Varsity Cup title in 2018, repeating the exact same achievements when they won the National Club Championships in the same year. Player of the tournament in the SA Universities Week was another accolade Brand picked up.
While stalwart Albie Morkel has retired after 15 years of service to the Titans and leg-spinner Shaun von Berg has moved to the Knights, internationals Chris Morris and Heino Kuhn have not been contracted full-time but will fulfil important roles on a pay-for-play basis.
Contracted players for 2019-20 : Andrea Agathangelou, Matthew Arnold, Farhaan Behardien, Corbin Bosch, Neil Brand, Junior Dala, Henry Davids, Tony de Zorzi, Dayyaan Galiem, Heinrich Klaasen, Tshepo Moreki, Alfred Mothoa, Marcello Piedt, Grant Thomson, Jonathan Vandiar
Rookies : Ruan de Swardt, Kabelo Sekhukhune CSA contracted national players : Quinton de Kock, Theunis de Bruyn, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn