In October 2013 over 11 000 cricketers from over 650 schools started on their journey to represent their respective franchise in the national finals of the Coca-Cola® T20 Schools Challenge.
The gruelling qualifiers are now over and Grey College (Chevrolet Knights), St Stithians College (bizhub Highveld Lions), Waterkloof Hoerskool (The Unlimited Titans), Kingwood College (Chevrolet Warriors), Wynberg Boys’ High (Nashua Cape Cobras) and Westville High School (Sunfoil Dolphins) will lock horns at the Tuks High Performance Centre, Pretoria, from the 3rd to the 5th of October 2014.
The tournament is fairly new, but it is already playing its part in Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) talent identification pipeline. Quinton de Kock is the first Proteas player to have played in the national finals – for King Edward II School and the Lions in 2010 and 2011 – and a number of players have gone on from here to play for the South African Schools and Coca-Cola® under-19 teams. They include the star of the 2014 ICC under-19 World Cup, Kagiso Rabada, who represented St Stithians College and the Highveld Lions in 2013.
The Coca-Cola® T20 Schools Challenge is about making heroes,” explains Fetsi Mbele, Coca-Cola® South Africa Marketing Assets Manager.
“This grassroots tournament is where heroes are unearthed by giving them the opportunity to showcase their talent against top T20 schools from around the country”.
Having clinched victory in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial final once again, Westville Boys’ High School will be making their third consecutive appearance at the national finals of the Coca-Cola® T20 Schools Challenge when they represent the Sunfoil Dolphins.
WBHS won the KwaZulu-Natal Coastal region playoff and went on to beat the KZN Inland champions, Hilton College, by 19 runs in the franchise final.
Key to their tournament preparation has been a focus on multiple fielding drills, as well as practicing specific strokes for the Coca-Cola® T20 matches, like hitting over the top and reverse sweeping.
The Coca-Cola® T20 Schools Challenge National Finals take place at TUKS Cricket Grounds in Pretoria from 3-5 October. Each team plays against all the other teams before the two teams that finish in first and second position after in a preliminary round, contest the final.
Day 1 – Fri 3 Oct:
09h30-12h30 v St Stithians (Lions)
14h00-17h00 v Grey College (Knights)
Day 2 – Sat 4 Oct:
09h30-12h30 v Waterkloof Hoerskool (Titans)
14h00-17h00 v Wynberg Boys’ High (Cobras)
Day 3 – Sun 5 Oct:
09h30-12h30 v Kingwood College (Warriors)