Picture: 123RF/RICHARD THOMAS
Picture: 123RF/RICHARD THOMAS

By securing the bowling services of Lutho Sipamla and Sisanda Magala‚ the Lions will have an even sharper look to them next season.

The duo are a big loss for the Warriors‚ who have already relinquished seamer Andrew Birch to retirement.

The Lions have gained hugely by acquiring these two seamers‚ with Sipamla having represented the national team.

Magala could have and should have been a national team representative.

Fitness issues have got in the way of that but with Kagiso Rabada and Beuran Hendricks on national contracts‚ the Lions need bowling depth. These two provide that and they are adept in all formats.

The Lions have not been short of pace bowling options.

Malusi Siboto and Eldred Hawken were regular wicket-takers for the Lions in their curtailed but successful Four-Day Franchise Series title defence while Hendricks’s exploits last season played a huge role in him getting back into the national team.

The pacemen and the spinners contributed reasonably to the semifinal charge in the Momentum One Day Cup, where the Lions were second behind the Dolphins.

The shortened List A and First-Class franchise tournaments next season will also work to their advantage as the pacemen can be deployed with care as the national team is still rebuilding its pace stocks in light of a raft of retirements in the past two years.

Morné Morkel‚ Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander have all shuffled off the international scene and this past summer proved that replacing them is not an easy task.

Sipamla‚ in particular‚ has been hot property because of his excellent Mzansi Super League (MSL) work in the past two seasons.

The Lions have gained wonderful bowlers in the two Eastern Cape pacemen and Sipamla looks set to adapt quickly to life in Johannesburg.

After all‚ he has played for the Tshwane Spartans in the MSL‚ so the bright Jozi lights are not new to him. Sipamla was also grateful for the platform the Warriors afforded him.

“These past few years have been nothing but great and I would like to thank all for a solid foundation‚ support and your constant backing shown towards my career thus far‚” Sipamla said.