Warriors Lutho Sipamla bowling against Knights at Buffalo Park in East London. Picture: MARK ANDREWS / DAILY DISPATCH
Warriors Lutho Sipamla bowling against Knights at Buffalo Park in East London. Picture: MARK ANDREWS / DAILY DISPATCH

The Warriors have had their bowling stocks decimated with Lutho Sipamla and Sisanda Magala set to join the Lions next season.

And talented all-rounder Onke Nyaku has been snapped up by the Cobras to make it three seamers leaving the Eastern Cape franchise.

Although Warriors management were tight-lipped about the trio’s departure on Monday, at least three sources have confirmed the moves.

Add the retirement of stalwart and leading Warriors wicket-taker Andrew Birch to that equation and they  have lost a full bowling attack at the drop of a floppy hat.

All three players were contacted on Monday and all declined to comment.

Their silence is, however, understandable as they possibly await the official announcement from their respective new franchises.

Warriors GM Shafiek Abrahams would also not spill the beans when asked on Monday other than to say: “We are still in the process of finalising contracts for next season so to say anything now would be premature. I still have to present the list of contracted players to our cricket committee.”

But, tellingly, there was no denial from the former Proteas and Eastern Province off-spinner, who has no doubt been working round the clock in trying to find worthy replacements at a stage when most franchises have secured their players for the 2020-21 season.

There has been speculation about Lions all-rounder Wihan Lubbe as well as Knights and Durban Heat leftarm seamer Marco Jansen joining the Warriors for the new season but Abrahams would not confirm this either.

The loss off Proteas player Sipamla and another on the fringes of the national team in Magala will have come as a bitter blow for the Warriors.

All three are sons and products of the Eastern Cape.

Magala had been forced to endure much criticism about his weight. But he was a solid performer for the Warriors even before the Proteas called him up to a conditioning camp earlier in 2020.

And his last performance for the Warriors was a man-of-the-match effort where he took 6/24 against the Cobras to help secure his team a semifinal spot.

His accurate bowling at the death often assisted in winning matches for the Warriors.

Sipamla had not played too many matches for both Eastern Province and the Warriors before his talent was noticed by the national selectors. Though he was not always available for the franchise, he is not the calibre of player you want to lose.

Nyaku produced a number of big performances with bat and ball for the Warriors and had secured his spot in the side as an all-rounder with a bright future.

With the deadline to provide squads to Cricket SA due in April, it is not expected that the Warriors will name their line-up soon as they attempt to fill the voids.

If Jansen does arrive in the Bay he will join the likes of Glenton Stuurman and experienced Basheer Walters. Anrich Nortjé may also be available on the odd occasion when he is not playing for the Proteas.

The Covid-19  pandemic cut the 2019/2020 season short recently on the eve of the Momentum One-Day Cup semifinals.

Ironically, one of those play-offs would have seen the Warriors play the Lions in Johannesburg.

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