~ The Royals Sports Group-owned franchise have recruited the 26-year-old South African all-rounder as their wildcard player for the inaugural edition of the SA20 ~

Royals Sports Group-owned franchise Paarl Royals have today announced the signing of South Africa's Andile Phehlukwayo as their wildcard player for the upcoming season of the SA20, which kickstarts on 10th January 2023. The seam bowler, who can contribute with the bat as well, will join the other 17 players picked up in the auction by the Royals.

Hailing from Durban, the 26-year-old represents Dolphins in the domestic circuit, and was one of the three reserve players for South Africa at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 held in Australia. Since making his domestic debut in 2014, first for KwaZulu-Natal, and then for the Dolphins, Phehlukwayo has picked up 92 wickets in 107 T20 matches at a strike rate of 18, also scoring 693 runs with the bat. His T20I debut came in 2017 as South Africa hosted Sri Lanka in a 3-match T20I series. The bowling all-rounder has 45 wickets in 38 T20I matches for his country at a strike rate of just 14.8, and can contribute with the bat, having scored 149 runs in 21 innings.

"We are delighted to have Andile joining us for the SA20. He's one of those experienced, multi-faceted players who can fit in anywhere, and provide us with greater flexibility in terms of the line-up for different conditions and matches. He has a good understanding of the South African conditions, and brings international experience also into our side. We have seen his all-round ability through his performances for both South Africa and in the domestic circuit, and we are confident he can play a huge role for the team," said Head Coach, JP Duminy. 

Phehlukwayo will further strengthen the Royals' South African core with swashbuckling batter David Miller being the captain, and being ably supported by Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi, Corbin Bosch, Bjorn Fortuin among others. When it comes to overseas players, the Paarl Royals have a huge star presence with the likes of Jos Buttler, Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, Obed McCoy and Ramon Simmonds being the overseas players for the Boland Park-based franchise.

The Royals will begin their first-ever SA20 campaign on 10th January 2023 against MI Cape Town at Newlands, with the match starting at 17.30hrs South African Standard Time (GMT+2) and 21.00hrs Indian Standard Time.

All matches from South Africa's explosive new T20 league, SA20, will be live in South Africa on SuperSport, and in India on Sports18 and Jio Cinema.

Tickets for all SA20 matches are available here.