Durban - After a late call-up into the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants team last season, all-rounder Wihan Lubbe is hoping to make an immediate impact when he strides out in Durban Heat colours for this year's Mzansi Super League starting in the first week of November.
The left-handed batsman, who is currently plying his trade for the North West Dragons, has made significant contributions for the men in maroon as well as for the Imperial Lions at a franchise level, and would like to translate that into good performances for the Durban Heat.
"I was hugely relieved to be picked up during the draft after missing out initially last year," the 26 year-old Lubbe said.
"After that, the excitement started building as did the realisation that hard work is paying off for me.
"I am really looking forward to joining up with the rest of the team and if the opportunity comes for me to play then I want to do myself justice with both the bat and the ball.
"I want to try and find out my role in the squad as quickly as possible and learn where I am going to fit in so I can fill that role as well as possible."
Lubbe has been on the professional cricket circuit in South Africa for a number of years so he will not have a problem incorporating himself into the squad. He is looking forward to meeting the players he doesn't know and building strong relationships.
"I know a lot of the guys in the Durban Heat squad but it's going to be great to build friendships with them that go beyond cricket.
"It is important that as players we use these chances to create friendships with players from different backgrounds because we will be teammates for over a month," he added.
Another opportunity that Lubbe is looking forward to is working with head coach Gary Kirsten.
"It's going to be fantastic having someone with Gary's knowledge at the helm. It's incredible that I will be able to bounce ideas of someone with his experience and I cannot wait to learn from him."
Trading the Highveld for the KZN coast for a month and a bit is another element of the Mzansi Super League that Lubbe is looking forward to.
"Obviously the beach is one of the things that I am looking forward to," he said.
"One of my good friends Marques Ackerman moved to the Dolphins and only has good things to say about the lifestyle.
"I know that there are a lot of good golf courses around there so I will definitely be trying those out."
The Durban Heat kick off their 2019 Mzansi Super League campaign against the Tshwane Spartans at Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium on Saturday, 9 November.
Durban Heat Squad:
Andile Phehlukwayo, Alex Hales, David Miller (retained player), Dane Vilas, Ravi Bopara, Keshav Maharaj (retained player), Kyle Abbott (retained player), Khaya Zondo (retained player), Marco Jansen, Daryn Dupavillon, Sarel Erwee (retained player), Malusi Siboto, Prenelan Subrayen, Wihan Lubbe, Shaun von Berg, Rob Frylinck.