Future stars gear up to show their talent in National Weeks
Posted by: Cricket South Africa on Monday, 3 December 2012

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The cricket season may be in full swing for senior and professional players, but it is only now that  hundreds of youngsters of all ages are preparing for the annual Cricket South Africa (CSA) National Schools Cricket Weeks. These weeks form a major part of the CSA development programme.

 

The grooming of future cricket stars, from the KFC Mini-Cricket programme to the national under-19 squad is one of CSA's most vital roles. The national weeks form an integral part of CSA's vision of making cricket a truly national sport of winners.

 

"It's that time of the year again," CSA Youth Cricket Manager, Niels Momberg said. "The National Schools Weeks are a combination of hard work put in by players and administrators alike. Young players, aged 13 will come into the system officially and enter our databases. We'll also begin our search for the national under-19 squad that will represent the country in the 2014 ICC Under-19 World Cup."

 

Every participant knows the importance of the national week they are taking part in as each is a stepping stone to one day donning the national colours as a member of the senior Proteas squad. The majority of the current national team either took part in one or all of the national weeks, from the CSA under-13 to the esteemed Coca-Cola Khaya Majola under-19 Week.

 

The format of the Weeks has not changed. The first two days are dedicated to 'time' cricket, day three to Twenty20 cricket and the last two days see the return of 50-over cricket.

 

Each of the Weeks represents a different stage of development for the participants.

 

The Under-13 Week is known as the springboard for a young player's career. Talent scouts take this opportunity to watch players and identify the talent to watch in the years to come.

 

In the under-15 Week, players start to experiment more with their actions, developing preferred shots and techniques as they begin to grow physically.

 

By the time players reach the Under-17 Week, they know whether or not cricket will be in their future prospects.  They also have an opportunity to measure their development against that of their counterparts as they fight for the opportunity to be chosen in the SA under-19 squad. This year's hopefuls compete for the added opportunity to represent South Africa in a home tour against England in January and February 2013. They also begin their training for the ICC U19 World Cup to be held in the Dubai in 2014.

 

Former Proteas fast bowler, Makhaya Ntini knew at that age that his future was in playing cricket. "Most of my teammates had begun to look at other things and pursue other interests by the time we got to under-15 cricket. By the time we played in the under-17 Week, we knew who was taking cricket seriously and who was just playing to keep active," he commented.

 

The Coca-Cola Khaya Majola Under-19 Week sees the top players of their age from across the country converge to fight for a place in the SA Schools and SA Colts squads. Almost every member of the current Proteas squad took part in this Week.

 

In all the excitement, young girls who love the game are never forgotten. The Girls Under-19 Week is a feeder to the senior Proteas Women's squad. Last year, a group of talented players identified by scouts during the Week were given the opportunity to train with the national team and two of them,  Suné Luus and Ayabonga Kakha were selected to represent South Africa in the ICC Women's World T20 in Sri Lanka.

 

A Rural Under-17 Week was launched for boys from 'country' regions.

 

CSA Schools Cricket Manager Niels Momberg said that apart from the development of future stars, the annual Cricket Weeks had value in that players learnt life lessons such as how to handle pressure and how to work with other members of their team.

 

 

CSA National Weeks Fixtures

 

December

Sat

08

-

Wed

12

CSA Boys Under 15 Week

Durban

Sun

09

-

Thu

13

CSA Boys Under 13 Week

Paarl

Mon

10

-

Fri

14

RCASA Boys Under 17 Week

Grahamstown

Wed

12

-

Sun

16

CSA Boys Under 17 Week

Cape Town

Thu

13

-

Mon

17

CSA Girls Under 19 Week

Oudtshoorn

 

 

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