One of the six new signings for the Dolphins for the upcoming season is Andile Mogakane who has been upgraded from a semi-professional deal to a franchise contract for the new campaign.
Mogakane has much in common with another new signing with the Dolphins Lifa Ntanzi, as he also came through the successful Township & Rural Development Programme where he was scouted to take up a place at Northwood Boys High School in Grade Nine.
“I am forever grateful to the coaches who guided me through my younger years in Lindelani,” the 20-year-old Mogakane said. “When I was in Grade Seven I was picked for the national development tournament in Johannesburg and played well.
“I was offered a place at Northwood in Grade Nine and had to adapt quickly because it was very unfamiliar to me coming into an English speaking school.
“My first year was tough and I stayed back and repeated Grade Nine where I was selected for the KZN Coastal Khaya Majola Week team. I only expected to be picked for the Under-17 side.”
The career of the young all-rounder took off from there and he was selected for the South Africa Under-19 side in Grade 11 when the team faced the West Indies in a home series.
He then missed the SA Under-19 tour to England the following year but performed well on the Under-19 tour to India the following year.
“I think it was a good wake up call for me not being selected to go to England. I was obviously disappointed but it made me realise that I needed to work really hard on my game.
“Since then I have been working as hard as possible to make myself better because I know that I can make it.”
A semi-professional deal with KZN Cricket was next on the cards of Mogakane and then at the end of this season, after he made his Dolphins debut, a first-time deal with the franchise was on the table.
“I was so excited when I got the offer!” he exclaimed. “My family was so proud that I was given the contract but I know there is so much work to do now.
“It was a dream come true for me and I am really excited to join a squad of players that are so supportive and encouraging.”
Mogakane is looking forward to being a part of the Dolphins set up and wants to learn as much as he can from the players.
“There is so much experience in the squad and it’s important that I make use of that knowledge.
“It’s awesome being part of a squad where the guys are willing to help wherever they can,” he added.
His debut for the franchise came in their final round-robin game of the One Day Cup against the Lions when he picked up two wickets.
In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo
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