The Coca-Cola South Africa under-19 squad cannot wait for the start of their quadrangular series against India, Australia and Zimbabwe. The series, taking place in Visakhapatnam, India, will see each side playing six ODIs from 23 September until the final on 5 October 2013.
Yaseen Valli is looking forward to donning the captain’s cap and leading his troops into battle.
“We’re going to face the top two teams in the world (India and Australia respectively) and we can’t wait to get started,” he said. “This tour will do a great job in showing us where we are in world cricket and what still needs to be done before the World Cup next year.”
CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat commented: “We wish our boys every success in this warm-up tournament for the ICC under-19 World Cup. From our side we will be doing everything possible to make sure that our squad has the best possible preparation for the junior World Cup.”
India claimed the number one spot after they beat Australia to win the ICC U19 World Cup in Australia last year. South Africa, who finished the World Cup at number three, last faced Australia when they were knocked out of the tournament during the semi-final.
The team have a healthy number of players with international experience. Eight of them took part in last season’s home tour against England that saw South Africa beating the visitors 5-0 in the ODI series.
The U19s have participated in two World Cup finals (in 2002 and 2008) and look to bring home the trophy in next year’s competition in the United Arab Emirates. This series is therefore vital in their preparation.
“Most of us have not played this much international cricket with so many teams in one series before and it’s important for us to get a good feel for a World Cup situation early on,” Valli continued. “This is the kind of opportunity we’ve all been dreaming of and we can’t wait to go out there and make our country proud. Each game will be played as if it were a World Cup.”
SA under-19 squad
Yaseen Valli (Gauteng, capt), Corbin Bosch (Northerns), Lloyd Brown (EP), Bradley Dial (Gauteng), Justin Dill (Boland), Clyde Fortuin (WP), Dayyaan Galiem (WP), Aiden Markram (Northerns), Lungisano Ngidi (KZN Inland), Sine Ntshona (Free State), Greg Oldfield (KZN Inland), Kagiso Rabada (Gauteng), Ngazibini Sigwili (Border), Jason Smith (WP), Hayes van der Berg (WP).
Management: Morgan Pillay (manager), Ray Jennings (head coach), Mandla Mashymbi (assistant coach), Greg Smith (assistant coach), Megan Dutton (physiotherapist), Sipokazi Sokanyile (Media Officer).