Cream of SA schools cricket rises to top

2014-10-02 00:00

IT started in October last year. with more than 11 000 cricketers from more than 650 schools vying for the opportunity to represent their franchise at the national finals of the Coca-Cola T20 Schools’ Challenge.

As the matches went on and the field was whittled down, it was a case of the last six left standing, each school representing one of the country’s six cricket franchises.

When the dust settled, Grey College represented the Knights, St Stithians (Lions), Waterkloof Hoërskool (Titans), Wynberg Boys’ High (Cobras), Kingswood College (Warriors) and Westville Boys’ High (Dolphins).

These teams do battle at the Tuks High Performance Centre in Pretoria, from tomorrow to Sunday.

Although a new tournament, it has already cemented its place on the cricket calendar as one of Cricket South Africa’s talent-spotting opportunities.

A fine example is Quinton de Kock, the current Protea batsman who is the first Protea to have played in the national finals, representing KES and the Lions in 2010 and 2011.

Many players at the tournament have progressed to the SA Schools’ side and the national U19 team. Kagiso Rabada — the latest addition to the Protea T20 team — a member of the SA U19 side which won the World Cup this year, played for St Stithians and the Lions last year.

This is a tournament where our future cricket heroes at provincial and national level are unearthed and representing a franchise is one of the highest honours a schoolboy can enjoy.

The format sees each team playing the others in a preliminary round, with the teams finishing first and second playing in the final.

If there is a no result in the final, the team finishing first after the prelims will be declared the winners.


Grey College

A sport breeding ground in South Africa where cricket is a strong and major discipline. Season after season produces a rich crop of players who produce exceptional results. As Free State champions, Grey met Noord-Kaap, winners of the Griquas region, to determine who would represent the Knights, the Bloemfontein boys emerging comfortable winners.

St Stithians

The second successive year the school represents the Lions, qualifying after winning the Johnny Waite knockout, beating St John’s College in the final. Twenty-over cricket plays a big role in the school’s cricket calendar and in preparing for the schools’ tournament, St Stithians have played matches against Menlopark, Wits University and the University of Johannesburg.

Westville Boys’ High

This is Westville’s third consecutive appearance at the national finals where they represent the Dolphins. They won the coastal play-off against a spirited Northwood side and then met KZN Inland champions Hilton College in the franchise final, winning by 19 runs. Preparation has been an intense focus on multiple fielding drills plus perfecting the use of the reverse sweep and hitting over the top.

Wynberg Boys’ High

Representing the Cobras, Wynberg had to deal with Paul Roos, the Boland champions, in the regional final, winning by four wickets. The school played in the national finals in the 2010/11 season and believes this team have the experience to go all the way. While T20 cricket is primarily a batsman’s game, the bowlers have been working hard, needing to be on the spot from ball one in a format of the game that can change in an instant.

Waterkloof Hoërskool

For the second year running, Waterkloof beat EG Jansen to reach the national finals, a reduced overs match due to inclement weather. Having been beaten in last year’s national final by Rondebosch Boys’ High, Waterkloof knows what it takes to go all the way. Their key to going one further this time around is to play attacking, positive cricket.

Kingswood College

A close regional final saw Kingswood scrape home by two runs against Selborne College. The team know how to win and has batsmen who are hard-hitting, able to change the dynamic of a game within a few balls.


Tomorrow: Cobras v Knights, Titans v Warriors, Dolphins v Lions, Warriors v Cobras, Lions v Titans, Knights v Dolphins

Saturday: Cobras v Lions, Titans v Dolphins, Warriors v Knights, Dolphins v Cobras, Knights v Titans, Warriors v Lions

Sunday: Titans v Cobras, Warriors v Dolphins, Knights v Lions, Final.

This is a tournament where our future cricket heroes at provincial and national level are unearthed and representing a franchise is one of the highest honours a schoolboy can enjoy.

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