International stars Laura Wolvaardt and Laura Kimmince will pull on the purple of the Superchargers, replacing Australian’s Alyssa Healy and Nicola Carey, whilst Sterre Kalis and Kalea Moore complete the domestic roster.
Having captained the Proteas and played in a host of domestic tournaments around the world, Du Plessis will captain the men’s side.
Commenting ahead of the inaugural competition, the batsman said: “I’m extremely excited. It’s really pleasing to be part of what will be a pioneering tournament, something new. I’ve looked at the names in our squad and I’m really excited to play with some of the guys that I’ve played IPL with and played a lot of international cricket against. There’s a lot of international talent in there and some really good up-and-coming talent so I’m delighted to be joining them.”
Captaining a new side in a new competition is likely to come with its fair share of unknowns but Du Plessis believes the environment will be a key factor to success.
“I put a lot of emphasis on culture, I think sport relies a lot on it,” said Du Plessis. “It’s something that, in my time as captain of South Africa, I’ve really held close to my heart and it’s important that you create an environment where players feel safe, they feel backed and they feel they can trust the environment. It’s important that they can be themselves and that is going to be something that is really important for me and for us as a team. A good healthy culture is something that you can control so I’ll be doing my upmost to help wherever I can and we will be tapping into all of the guys to create an environment where everyone can be the best version of themselves.”
With the men’s game being played alongside the women’s games with double headers at the same venues, there is likely to be strong support between the two groups.
Du Plessis, upon hearing that the Superchargers had signed his compatriot Wolvaardt, comented: “I’m a big fan of Laura. She’s also a number three batter, plays for South Africa, captains so we are very in synch in what we do so that’s great news.
“It’s going to be great to share the knowledge about the game that we love between the men’s and women’s squads. The women’s game is growing so fast and it will be great to be able to share my experiences with them and vice versa.”
Wolvaardt, who has played 88 limited overs games for South Africa, admitted her excitement at the news of joining the Superchargers alongside Du Plessis.
The 22-year-old said: “It’s going to be awesome. I’m a bit of a Faf fangirl. He’s such a legend in South Africa and to be able to play games prior to him will be great. Hopefully I’ll be able to speak to him a bit, hear what ideas he has about the game and the new format as well. He’s an incredible cricketer.”
“I’m super excited to be joining the Superchargers. I can’t wait to get over to England and get going.
“I’ve heard a lot of good things about the team and the tournament so I can’t wait to get started.
“To be involved in the tournament is something any cricketer would jump at so when the opportunity came from the Superchargers I was over the moon excited. I’ve played against Lauren Winfield-Hill a couple of times but, other than that, I haven’t played with anyone.
“Looking at the squad I think we’ve got a good chance of getting some silverware. It would be great to come home with the title.”
Thompson comes into the men’s squad having impressed in this year’s Vitality Blast, scoring 166 runs at a strike rate of 200 and taking 11 wickets. Laura Kimmince completes the overseas trio for the women’s squad. The 30-year-old batter has represented Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League and will provide another top-order option for the Superchargers. Sterre Kalis and Kalea Moore have been added to the group after strong contributions for their regional squads, Northern Diamonds and South East Stars.