Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) vision is to make cricket a truly national sport of winners, and cricket development plays a crucial role in helping CSA do something today to shape TOMORROW.
Makhaya Ntini, Mark Boucher, JP Duminy, Hashim Amla, Shaun Pollock and Paul Adams are players that we love and watch who followed this well travelled cricket pathway/pipeline to become Proteas.
Cricket at home with friends and family is your usual introduction to the game. The first official CSA step we take with you, is with our soft ball Mini Cricket programme, starting at five years of age - at least 100 000 children play Mini Cricket every year and it is no wonder that this programme grows from strength to strength, and is heading towards three decades in existence.
The next step to glory is the move to hardball school cricket - like the game you see on TV when you watch your heroes.
Schools cricket is the crucial phase of learning as you go through the age groups from under-13 through to under-19. All provinces have their elite age group squads that you may be invited to join and could catapult you into one of the under 13, 15, 17 or 19 provincial teams to play in the National weeks. That will be your first taste of provincial colours.
At under-19 level, for the first time, national colours will be awarded when you are selected for the SA under 19 team! This team tours regularly and every second year plays in the under-19 World Cup against all the top cricket playing countries of the world. What an opportunity!
When you leave school you will join a club and could be selected for the provincial under-19 teams to play in a national tournament giving you the opportunity to shine and reveal your talent to the amateur provincial selectors. Performing well here could see you selected for the provincial amateur team which plays official first class cricket - a standard that is internationally recognized and gets you into the record books, permanently!
Throughout this learning period from under-13 through to the amateur first class cricket you might well be invited to specialist camps, academies, and special nets where you will be coached and mentored by top coaches, trained through our CSA Coaches Academy. Former Proteas coach Mickey Arthur and Proteas assistant coach, Vincent Barnes received their formal cricket coach training through this Academy.
Your next step is into the professional cricket world! You will be picked for a franchise team, then for the High Performance Programme opening the way to the South Africa A team and then your ultimate dream that of being chosen to play for the Proteas.
Stop for one moment and think of the dream of Makhaya Ntini. Having been to Mini Cricket, he dreamt of playing cricket for SA, as he herded cattle in the Eastern Cape. Through his determination and strong will, he became the highest rated test bowler in the world!! Now that is the beauty of dreams and the effectiveness of the CSA cricket development pipeline.