IN the absence of numerous experienced campaigners, the Twenty20 Champions League offers younger players the opportunity to prove themselves, according to veteran Titans cricket captain Martin van Jaarsveld.
The likes of Proteas players AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and Morne and Albie Morkel will play for other franchises in the competition.
And while Van Jaarsveld said yesterday you could not replace world- class players, it allowed the squad's younger members to show what they could do, with the short format levelling the playing field.
"There are some exciting young bucks coming through and I'm sure they're raring to go," he said.
Titans coach Matthew Maynard said the Centurion-based franchise had become used to having certain players unavailable.
Having the Titans' opening game on their home ground would be in their favour, Van Jaarsveld believed, though he cautioned that all it took was one player to change a game.
"What will be in our favour is we know most of the conditions," the skipper said. "... but yet again, for me, it just depends on [whether] someone has a day out."
Van Jaarsveld said there were a few players who were relatively unknown beyond South Africa's borders whom people should look out for. "Someone like David Wiese, who not many would've seen – he's a fantastic all-rounder," he said.
"We are nursing him to step up one day to almost fill Albie [Morkel's] boots. [He] bowls at a decent pace and can hit a real long ball.
"Eden Links – he's the young offspinner. He had a fantastic campaign for us last year.
"There is a young keeper, Mangaliso Mosehle. It's really tough with the balance of this team to get him in the starting lineup but I'm sure if he does get a chance he's someone to watch out for in the future."
Maynard was pleased to have Farhaan Behardien back from international duty.
"Farhaan's shown his quality on the international stage as well as domestically here," the coach said.
"He's looking forward to being back with the lads and is very upbeat for this tournament. He can either be aggressive from ball one or play himself in if needs be."
Van Jaarsveld hoped the Titans would be supported by South African cricket fans, with domestic teams competing from around the world, and said winning the opening game would be crucial to building momentum. The Titans get their campaign under way on Saturday against Australia's Perth Scorchers at Supersport Park. – Sapa