With the culmination of the 2019/20 season due to the Covid-19 pandemic, plans are already afoot for the following campaign.
At the Momentum Multiply Titans, there has been much movement in the transfer window. The departure of Farhaan Behardien was a massive loss of experience, while Tony de Zorzi and Alfred Mothoa have also moved on to new challenges.
Those departures have opened the door for new blood, which has arrived in the form of Thando Ntini, Okuhle Cele and Sibonelo Makhanya.
The latter of the trio is the most experienced, and he is looking to take his career to new heights, as he is now a seasoned campaigner with the Dolphins.
Makhanya will have plenty of familiar faces in the Titans, having crossed paths with players and coaches alike.
“I am really looking forward to working with the coach, Mandla Mashimbyi, who I have a good relationship with. Coach Geoff Toyana also just recently coached me in the MSL, so I strongly believe they can take my cricket to the next level,” Makhanya said of his move.
He also has happy memories with several players, who he shared a priceless piece of history with as a junior international. “I represented SA under-19 alongside my new Titans team mate Aiden Markram, when we won the World Cup in Dubai. I then went on to captain SA u19 and started playing for the Dolphins from the age of 18,” he recalled of a highly successful start to elite cricket.
“I look forward to rubbing shoulders and learning from the players at the Titans. In my career, I’ve always looked up to the Titans team and union and to be joining them is really exciting! I want to help in winning more trophies,” he added.
Makhanya is a middle-order batsman who has shown glimpses of his full potential, particularly in the limited-overs formats. Born and bred in Verulam, Kwazulu-Natal, he explained that his career has been littered with lessons.
“My journey in the game has been a tough one, but a good one. There have been lots of lessons, ever since I got into the game when I was 10 years old in my hometown Verulam.”
Makhanya represented KZN at all age-group levels, culminating in his ascension into the South Africa under-19 squad. He still holds aspirations for higher honours, but concedes that he will have to rise to the Titans challenge first.
Now 24, he knows that there is still plenty of time left in his career. But he also knows that he is no longer a young player, and he must set his sights higher.
“My aspirations are to play for my country. It’s been a dream of mine since I was that 10 year old boy. I am very happy to be at the Titans, because the hardworking culture has always appealed to me. The Titans are a union driven by high standards and you can see that through their ability to always win trophies and produce international players.”
Scanning the squad, he said he is looking forward to spending more time with veteran batsman Henry Davids, who he has already shared a dressing-room with at the Paarl Rocks. There are a lot of great players at the Titans, but Henry Davids is the one for me. I really enjoy the way he plays the game – but only when he is on the field,” Makhanya chuckled.