Feast of top-class schoolboy cricket

2014-09-23 00:00

THE Oppenheimer Week that takes place from October 4 to 7 in and around the KZN capital offers a feast of top-class schoolboy first XI cricket with exceptionally promising players from renowned educational institutions set to entertain the province’s many lovers of leather on willow.

Hosted as always by Maritzburg College and now in its 55th year, the Michaelmas holidays festival bridges the divide between the third and fourth school terms, and this year’s celebration of all that is good in cricket has added spice in the form of New Zealand’s Westlake Boys’ High School.

Aside from the friendly yet fiercely-contested rivalries between the likes of Maritzburg College and Pretoria’s Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool (Affies), the prospect of seeing the Westlake boys measuring their skills both individually and as a unit against Jeppe, Pretoria Boys’ High, Affies and St Andrew’s of Grahamstown is sure to whet the appetite.

No less than 17 schools plus a KZN Development XI are taking part and they also include DHS, Glenwood, Kearsney, Michaelhouse, St Charles College, Northwood, Hudson Park from East London and several other Gauteng schools in St John’s, St Davids and St Alban’s.

A host of stellar names have played in the festival, including AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis of Affies, Barry Richards, Hashim Amla and Lance Klusener of DHS, Andrew Hudson of Kearsney, Ali Bacher and Graham Smith of King Edward VII School (KES), as well as Jonty Rhodes, David Miller and Kevin Pietersen of hosts Maritzburg College.

Some of the promising talents to look out for this time round include SA U19 cricketers Andile Phehlukwayo of Glenwood, Grant Roelofsen of KES, Ndumiso ­Mvelase of St John’s and Lwandiswa Zuma of Maritzburg College.

Let’s hope the weather holds.

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