Hilton – Hilton College will be a hive of cricketing activity when the tenth edition of the KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union, KZN Department of Sport and Recreation and Sunfoil Township Schools Tournament sees players from around the country converge on the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, for another competitive edition of this ground-breaking festival of cricket this week.
The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport and Recreation is heavily involved in the tournament as many young cricketers, mostly from disadvantaged backgrounds, from all over the country showcase their skills in a tournament unlike anything many of them would have taken part in.
288 players are expected to take part in the tournament that sees teams from three visiting cricket unions – Gauteng, the Western Cape and Border – join the eight teams from KZN. These visiting sides will have teams in both the U15 and the U19 age groups.
With this edition of the tournament being the tenth edition, organisers have expanded the tournament to include new venues away from the base at Hilton College. Games will be hosted at the prestigious Pietermaritzburg Oval as well as Weston Agricultural College in Mooi River.
All matches in the past have followed the exciting T20 format, however for the tenth edition the 50 over format has been introduced. There will be twelve 50 over games on the opening day with the second day only consisting of T20 while the final day will incorporate both formats.
Willowton Group’s Chief Commercial Officer Shoaib Moosa understands the importance of promoting the game of cricket to all communities across South Africa. The successful Township Schools Tournament is a testament to the contribution made by the Willowton Group over the past decade.
“In the ten years of our sponsorship, we have seen enormous progress in the grassroots development of cricket in KZN,” said Moosa.
“We have always maintained that this is where our efforts matter the most and that sustained commitment was needed to be able to see meaningful results.
“Township cricket is flourishing in the local communities, as more disadvantaged youngsters grow to love the game of cricket and become noteworthy cricketers.”
Township Development Manager of the KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union, Saneliswe Kuzwayo has seen the tournament grow from its infancy and wanted this edition to pull out all the stops.
“We wanted to raise the bar in this 10th anniversary year and that is precisely what we did.
“Everyone was very excited about this milestone tournament and the anticipation and excitement could not help but contribute to its overall success.”
“It is also good to see that the KZN township boys and girls have performed consistently well over the last season. They are holding their own in the traditional school leagues, and the girls are performing well in the KZN Women’s team,” Kuzwayo commented.
In a change from previous years the final game of the 2017 tournament will see the best eleven players selected in a side, both Under-19 and Under-15, will take on a mixed eleven made up of players from KZN Inland’s Under-15 and Academy sides.
The KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union, KZN Department of Sport and Recreation and Sunfoil Township Schools Tournament takes place at Hilton College from 1to 4 July.