Captain Klaasen has plenty of brains to pick at the Spartans

Heinrich Klaasen during a Tshwane Spartans' open day at SuperSport Park in Pretoria on November 5.
Heinrich Klaasen during a Tshwane Spartans' open day at SuperSport Park in Pretoria on November 5.
Image: Christiaan Kotze/Gallo Images

Tshwane Spartans captain Heinrich Klaasen will tap into the experience of senior players like Albie Morkel and AB de Villiers during the Mzansi Super League (MSL) this season.

The 28-year-old Klaasen, who has replaced former Proteas captain De Villiers as leader of the side, said he will take a relaxed approach to his leadership role while at the same time seeking guidance whenever necessary.

“I am quite a relaxed captain,” he said this week at SuperSport Park in Centurion as the Spartans prepared for their opening match against the Durban Heat at Kingsmead in Durban on Saturday.

“I try to get everyone’s point of view because everyone has different ideas. It’s always been my way.

“I have spent a lot of time with Albie Morkel, really picking his brain about the way he captains. I think he’s been one of our best captains in SA, the way he sums up the game, handles the pressure. I have really learnt a lot from him in the last four seasons.”

Asked how the captaincy came about, Klaasen said he was appointed by coach Mark Boucher.

“I had a conversation with Boucher. He said I got fired from the previous job as Titans captain, so I can get a chance here. I am looking forward to this, especially with guys who have heaps of experience around the world,” he said.

The Spartans are up against a Durban Heat side who include England internationals Alex Hales and Ravi Bopara in the mix and are coached by the hugely experienced Gary Kirsten.

“We are fit and firing and have both of our international players available, which is great,” said Kirsten.

“I have coached in a number of these competitions and to have your international players here five days before the start of the tournament is massive.

“We have spent the better part of the week trying to work out our blueprint and understanding how we want to play.

“Closer to match day, we will start to try and understand the Spartans and what their strengths and weaknesses are, and plan as well as we can to give ourselves the best chance of winning the game.

“Most importantly, though, we need to build our formula for success. I am very excited by our squad because we have got a lot of guys who have played a huge amount of T20 cricket around the world.

“We know that T20 games are won and lost by very narrow margins and often it takes good thinking to get you across the line so I am excited to see what we can do.”

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