CRICKET SOUTH AFRICA (CSA) this evening launched its state of the art Centre of Excellence (CoE) at the University of Pretoria Sports Complex.
“We always dream of having a comparable if not the best development programme in the world,” commented CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat. “With all sporting codes evolving as rapidly as we have experienced over the past decade, CSA is determined to invest in the future so that we remain a world leader in developing our players to their full potential.
“We only have to look at the enormous changes cricket has undergone both on and off the field since we re-entered the international arena 22 years ago. This includes the fast-paced T20 format and the implications that each format has on the other. When AB de Villiers reached one of his many Test centuries with three successive reverse sweeps it was incredible but of course unachievable in years gone by.
“Our vision remains two-fold: to make South Africa a nation of winners and to make cricket a truly national sport.
“The CoE is key to both these aims as we continue working hard to keep pace with the growth of the game. It will spearhead excellence and transformation by always being at the forefront of the development of the game. To invest in our players and structures is not negotiable.
“I would also like to thank the University of Pretoria for their vision and contribution to a successful partnership.”
The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria, Professor Cheryl de la Rey, said that she welcomes the expanded relationship with Cricket South Africa and that the new Centre of Excellence represents an extension and consolidation of the current partnership between the two entities which is in its tenth year. It contributes to the University’s commitment to excellence in its core business of teaching and learning, and research and to all its other endeavours, including participation in sport. This new building also further supports the University’s continued contribution and commitment towards the nation’s sporting success both locally and internationally.
Corrie van Zyl, CSA General Manager: Cricket, commented: “With the facilities that the University of Pretoria have already established and the new ones we have developed through this investment, I can say with confidence that we have a facility that is the equal of any other in the world.
“It is a dream come true for cricket in this country. But it is a living dream because it is one that we must continue to drive forward. At the moment we have an outstanding Test team, a champion under-19 team, a women’s team that continues to make big strides forward and two Proteas limited overs squads that enjoy great respect across the whole world.
“In other words our cricket is in a very healthy state. But we have seen from the experiences of others how easy it is to fall from the top and how difficult it is to stay at the top. The CoE is a key component in our commitment to successfully remain at the forefront. It is where our five developmental pillars come together.
“I must emphasize that this is a commitment to all levels of our cricket. We will expose players from within the more mainstream part of the pipeline – Cricket Centres of Excellence in the previously disadvantaged areas, such as Fort Hare Academy and provincial academies – to expose them to the latest technology to grow them and for us to broaden our talent base.”