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South African Botha pumped for CPL debut!

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By Author CPL
Former South Africa T20 captain JOHAN BOTHA will play in the Caribbean Premier League for the first time this summer when he dons the Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel shirt for the Biggest Party in Sport, starting on 20 June. 
 
We caught up with the 33-year-old, currently in action for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, to chat all things CPL...
 
Q How much are you looking forward to the 2015 Caribbean Premier League?
A I can't wait. It's my first time, so I'm really looking forward to it. I've heard great reports from loads of players who have played in the last two tournaments, and now it's my turn to get involved. [IPL team-mates] Andre Russell and Sunil Narine have both been talking it up, and I've chatted lots to Dwayne Bravo too as he's gonna be my captain at the Red Steel. Everyone's enjoyed it, from what I can tell!
 
Q It's an easy sell isn't it - six weeks in the Caribbean?!
A Haha, yeah! I really enjoyed touring the West Indies in 2010 with South Africa, it's a very beautiful place and I can't wait to go back. T20 is a great format and it's an easy sell to players all-round.
 
"Dwayne Bravo is a captain that leads by example, carrying his team-mates with him" - Johan Botha
 
Q What did you make of the recent West Indies' success in the Test series with England?
A Well, the West Indies players have really stepped it up in the T20 format since winning the World T20 in 2012 - as a group of players they've done really well in the format around the world because they're so good with bat and ball and they're explosive players. It's good to have a competitive West Indies team, and often that helps in other formats of the game, and it was good to see them show fight against England. The IPL guys I was with were really proud of the Windies team!
 
Q Who are you looking forward to playing with?
A It'll be really nice to play with Jacques Kallis again, after playing with him for South Africa many times. The Bravo brothers have been around for a while too, and I can't wait to play with Dwayne and Darren. Dwayne is a real captain, a man who leads by example, taking spectacular catches and carrying you with him. I'm also excited about playing with a man who has bowled brilliantly in the IPL many times before, Samuel Badree.
 
Q Who are you looking forward (or not looking forward!) to playing against?
A There are a few I'm not looking forward to bowling to! Andre Russell definitely, he's been on fire in the IPL. And Chris Gayle always, for obvious reasons. Lendl Simmons is also playing really well in India at the moment, leading from the top of the innings.
 
"Get Gayle out early on. If not, just limit the damage!" - Johan Botha
 
Q How do you go about bowling to someone like Chris Gayle when he's in the mood?
A The plan is to try not to go for a boundary every ball! Seriously though, it's like fielders almost don't matter anymore - he can mis-hit a ball for six, so you can't get too upset by that happening. You really have to try and get him out in the first 10-15 balls of his innings, and if you can't, after that it's about limiting the damage.
 
Q There's a bit more help for you spinners in the Caribbean, isn't there?
A Yeah, the wickets are definitely a bit slower and turn a bit more, and there are more options for slow bowlers out there - it seems to be a more even contest between bat and ball. Like Sunil Narine said, someone like Andre Russell can be destructive, but you do get assistance from the wicket so it isn't all one-way.
 
Q What can Red Steel fans expect from Johan Botha?
A I'll just try and play my role the best I can for the team. I like to try and control an innings in the middle overs with the ball, not let the opposition get away, and I usually bat 6, 7, or 8, it's usually my job to finish an innings off as best I can. And I'll try and field as well as Dwayne Bravo, too!
 
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South African Botha pumped for CPL debut! CPL T20

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