September 19, 2022. The city of Cape Town witnessed a thrilling player auction for the SA20, as the six participating franchises broke the bank to build their respective squads for the inaugural season starting in January 2023.
Having announced a core group of players in David Miller (c), Jos Buttler, Corbin Bosch and Obed McCoy, the Royals’ management group featuring CEO Jake Lush McCrum and Zubin Bharucha (Strategy, Development and Performance Director), entered the bidding process alongside members of the Paarl Royals’ coaching unit - Head Coach JP Duminy, Spin Bowling and Strategy Coach Richard Das Neves and Fast Bowling Coach Mandla Mashimbyi.
The auction kick started with the marquee players going under the hammer in Round 1. Pacer Lungi Ngidi was the first one on the list, and the Royals immediately got into the act with a R 3.4 million winning bid. It was followed up with an even bigger signing in spinner Tabraiz Shamsi for R 4.3 million. The former No.1 T20I spinner has previously featured for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021 as a replacement player.
Some of the most popular names in the first lot saw no takers by the end of the first round. However, when their names came up again in the accelerated process, England’s World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan was lapped up by the Royals straightaway. An intense bidding battle then ensued between the Royals and Pretoria Capitals for uncapped batter Donovan Ferreira with a base price of R 175,000, but both teams pulled out considering they still had to build a major chunk of their squad. Ferreira eventually ended up being signed by the Johannesburg Super Kings.
The Royals’ batting unit was boosted further after explosive opening batter Jason Roy was bought for R 1.5 million, along with 37-year-old veteran wicketkeeper-batter Dane Vilas added to the mix.
Staying true to their approach of giving young and upcoming talent a platform to perform, the Royals also signed up local players such as Mitchell van Buuren, Wihan Lubbe, and Ferisco Adams, who’ve been consistently performing on the domestic front. Left-arm pacer Ramon Simmonds, who’s currently representing Barbados Royals in the CPL, was also roped in along with South African national Bjorn Fortuin to beef up the bowling department.
Presenting the full Paarl Royals squad for the inaugural season of SA20: