KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union’s stars of tomorrow are all set and ready for the multitude of national age group cricket weeks set to take place around the country this December after formally being capped at the annual KZN Schools teams capping ceremony at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on Tuesday, 1 December.
The Coca-Cola Khaya Majola U19 Week – the premier age group week in South Africa and the stage all schoolboys aim to perform on as a scholar – is set to take place in Port Elizabeth from 16-20 December with Westville Boys’ High School matriculant Tyron Koen eager to lead his KZN charges to glory.
“We’ve got a really strong side this year; we bat really deep and with SA bowlers like Okuhle (Cele) and Nduduzo (Mfoza) we have a lot of experience to draw on,” said captain Koen.
“As a team we’ve spoken about looking to play as a team rather than as individuals and that if we can perform as a unit then guys being selected for SA Schools, etc. will take care of itself.
“Everyone should know their game by now and so now it’s just a matter of going there and executing as best we can,” he added.
In former Coke Week attendees Cele, Mfoza and young Jerome Bossr (all Glenwood High School) as well as fellow Westville team mate Craig Schlemmer, Koen has a sound brains trust to turn to during the five day competition.
“I’m really looking forward to my first Coke Week experience and it is such a privilege to lead this team at such a prestigious tournament.
“I will definitely look to use a guy like Okuhle who likes to give his input and often has some great ideas while Jerome has a good cricketing brain and even though he’s still quite young, he always seems to have a really calm head.
“Having guys like Okuhle and Nduduzo – who have had the experience of playing at a higher level – in the team will also be important for us,” said Koen.
While KZN’s U19 boys look to do the business in Port Elizabeth, their female counterparts will hope home ground advantage will help them do the same at the CSA U19 Girls Week which takes place in and around Durban from 11-15 December.
“Performances of our provincial junior teams at national weeks is always an indication of the strength of our junior programs,” said KZNCU Amateur Cricket Manager, Jay Naidoo.
“Over the years our junior teams have produced future Protea stars with current squad members David Miller, Khaya Zondo, Hashim Amla and Kyle Abbott having all represented KZN junior teams at provincial weeks,” he added.
The national youth cricket action extends throughout the province as Pietermaritzburg looks to play host to the CSA U17 Boys Week also from 11-15 December with the picturesque Hilton College to from the headquarters for this competition.
10-14 December sees the CSA U13 Boys and CSA U15 Boys Weeks take place in Johannesburg and East London respectively while all the action from the Rural U17 Boys Week unfolds in Stellenbosch from 14-18 December.