BBL 2020: Hobart Hurricanes on Monday announced that former South Africa all-rounder Johan Botha will be coming out of retirement to play for them in the upcoming edition of the Big Bash League (BBL).
The all-rounder is no stranger to the BBL, having previously played three seasons with the Adelaide Strikers from 2012 to 2014, before joining the Sydney Sixers from 2015 to 2018, and then the Hobart Hurricanes for BBL|08. In January 2019, Botha had cited physical fatigue behind his decision to immediately retire, however now Botha says that after nearly two years away from playing at the top level, he feels his body is refreshed and he still has a lot he can offer the group.
“Obviously, the Hurricanes is the last team I finished with, and it wasn’t quite the end I wanted. There were four games to go in the season back then, and the guys were playing really good cricket. I didn’t think I’d get another opportunity to play, and then chatting to Ben Rohrer and Griff and they said there might be an opportunity coming up for me. It was a choice between ‘Do I further my coaching career, or do I miss the first couple of games of the Pakistan Super League,” Botha said in an official Hobart Hurricanes release.
“I figured I’m as fit as I’ve ever been, and I feel I can still make a contribution to the team. I’ve missed playing but I didn’t really want to put it out there and say ‘can you pick me’ in case it didn’t work out, so we kept it quiet from when we first chatted about it at the Shield hub in Adelaide, and it slowly built up from there,” he added.
The former South African international will once again join the Hurricanes as a local player, given that he is now an Australian citizen. Botha will be joined by Tasmanian Tigers squad member, Charlie Wakim, as replacement players for Matthew Wade and Tim Paine whilst they are on international duties.
Twenty-nine-year-old Wakim is a handy right-hand batsman and has previous BBL experience as a member of the Sydney Sixers Academy. Local batsman, Caleb Jewell, will also join the squad as a replacement player, while Mitch Owen completes his recovery from a stress fracture.
The Hurricanes will kick off the KFC BBL|10 when they face reigning Champions, the Sydney Sixers, at Blundstone Arena on Thursday 10 December.