Northern Superchargers are hoping to prove the value of experienced minds in The Hundred, with veteran all-rounder David Wiese claiming “old is gold”.
Since finishing fifth in the men’s table last year, great emphasis has been placed on recruiting experienced fighters for the Headingley-based team, whose competition begins on Friday with a trip across the Pennines to Manchester Originals.
Faf du Plessis, who re-signed as captain in 2021 after suffering a concussion, is one of two 38-year-olds in the squad alongside Dwayne Bravo, with Wahab Riaz, Roelof van der Merwe and Wiese all 37.
With a trio of 34-year-olds – Adil Rashid, John Simpson and Adam Lyth – also in the first-choice starting XI, the Superchargers are emerging as the elder statesmen of The Hundred, something Wiese believes is theirs can work in favor.
“There has been a saying in franchise cricket in recent years that old is gold, hopefully we will show that to be true,” the Namibia international told the PA news agency.
“There is no substitute for players who have been there and done that. It seems the more experience the lads have, the more she comes through and shows in those crucial moments of pressure. You always need the exuberance of youth, but it’s also about mixing that with experience.”
Speaking at a community event at Roundhay Park in Leeds, Wiese joined Du Plessis and England bowler Matthew Potts as they batted, bowled and fielded with local children before serving ice cream to those in attendance.
Potts has been one of the main draws after his shares soared and made a splash with England’s Test side earlier this summer.
Due to his success, the Durham seaman will only be available for the first two games before returning to the national team ahead of the series against South Africa. And though his time is short, he hopes to make a difference.
“I may only be there for a few games but I’ll make the best of it while I can,” he told PA.
“There might be a bit more hype around me, which can only be a good thing, but I approach every game the same way.
“It was great to see the children getting excited about playing cricket in the park and we saw lots of smiling faces which can only be good for the grassroots sport. We want to inspire the next generation and this is where it starts.”
Du Plessis was faced with a tough hand by circumstances, as Potts’ status change and an injury to Brydon Carse robbed him of two strike bowlers. Add in Ben Stokes, who is stepping down to focus on his Test captain, and there are significant gaps to be filled.
“We had a tough time with some of the English guys. We won’t actually see Potts, Carse is out, Stokesy isn’t there. It would have been nice to have her with us for a while longer,” he said.
“But you get used to making those changes. As a captain, once you’re in the middle your cricket brain takes over and you enjoy the pressure side, the tactical side of things.”