The Easterns Titans franchise has announced that The Unlimited Titans fast bowler, Ethy Mbhalati, has been granted a benefit year after spending eleven years with the franchise and, before that, with the Northerns Cricket Union.
The Phalaborwa-born right-arm fast-medium bowler made his first-class debut for Northerns in 2002/03. He has represented South Africa A and the South Africa Emerging side. Mbhalati became the first South African to take a hat-trick in franchise T20 cricket.
Mbhalati said he was pleased to be awarded a Benefit year and thanked the Board and everyone involved for making it possible.
“I am very grateful to everyone associated with Northerns and Easterns Titans for this Benefit Year opportunity,” said 31-year-old Mbhalati.
The Unlimited Titans Coach, Rob Walter paid tribute to Mbhalati: “To be awarded a benefit year is a huge honour for any player but few deserve it more than Ethy who has been an unbelievable servant for the Titans and Northerns for over a decade. His humility, passion and commitment to the team are qualities that stand out and all the players that have crossed his path would bear testimony to that. I wish him all the success that he deserves in his benefit year and commit the team’s full support to ensuring this success.”
The CEO of the franchise, Jacques Faul, commented: “Ethy has served the Titans very well and is a role model to young cricketers. We all wish him well with his benefit year.”
Mbhalati will announce his planned events in due course.
Mbhalati follows in the footsteps of the former Titans captain, Pierre Joubert, who was awarded a Benefit year for the 2010/11 season.