Roger Telemachus is backing his young charges to come good when KwaZulu-Natal Coastal open their Pool C campaign at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley in the inaugural Africa T20 Cup competition.
The former Proteas fast bowler has been coach of the provincial side for some time and he is liking what he is seeing coming through the amateur ranks and the development pipeline.
“In the four-and-a-half years I have been here we have struggled in the three-day competition,” Telemachus commented, “but we have done really well in the limited overs competition and I believe this new Africa T20 Cup will suit us very nicely.”
“Some of our youngsters have already proven their worth at franchise level; Andile Phehlukwayo is a case in point and another is Sibonelo Makhanya, who has captained South Africa at under-19 level.
“I gave a first outing to Jason Oakes as a wicketkeeper-batsman at the end of last season and I was impressed with what he contributed.
“Craig Kirsten has had a good season in England and I am hoping that he has finally put behind him the injuries that have plagued him over the last three seasons. He is a big man and, when he is fully fit, he can bowl as quickly as anybody in the country and get good bounce as well.”
Telemachus feels that the Africa T20 Cup competition provides the ideal platform for younger players to make their mark and establish their careers.
“I have been looking at some of the other squads where you have Hashim Amla playing for Boland and Vernon Philander for SWD. Can you imagine what it means to young players to get the opportunity to play against some of our great legends of the game?” he asked.
KZN will not be short of experience either. “David Miller and Cameron Delport have proven themselves to be among the best game changers in this format anywhere in the world. They can change the course of a game in a matter of balls.”
KZN are grouped with Eastern Province, Griquas and Namibia and Telemachus is weary of all of them.
“Our obvious initial aim is to get through to the next stage. The game against Griquas could be particularly difficult. They will be playing on their home turf and you never know quite what you are going to get there.”
Cameron Delport, Khalipha Cele, David Miller, Senuran Muthusamy, Keshav Maharaj, Daniel Sincuba, Sibonelo Makhanya, Andile Phehlukwayo, Craig Kirsten, Brandon Scullard, Jason Oakes, Rabian Engelbrecht, Mishkal Ramsaroop
Roger Telemachus (head coach), Bheki Nyathikazi (assistant coach), Jay Naidoo (manager)