Young cricketers are keen, but they need help

2008-03-11 00:00

The Denge cricket side have become the most talked about team among players affiliated with the Maritzburg Cricket Association (MCA).

The Cato Ridge team display infectious enthusiasm, gentlemanly sportsmanship and steadfast determination to make their 14-man squad a success — in spite of the huge odds against them.

Denge — a team without sport kit, transport or proper training facilities — can be described as a team with “a whole lot of soul”, said Wayne Erradu, a member of another team, the young Natalians.

Young Natalians have already raised R2 100 towards sponsoring these players with proper kit and equipment, such as batting pads.

Young Natalians captain Goolam Amod said Denge have no transport to get to matches, but “make a plan by hitching a ride every Sunday morning”.

“They play fairly and are really talented. We were so inspired by their love for the game that we wanted to help.”

The Witness caught Denge practising on an airstrip in Cato Ridge recently.

Depite the rusty, broken wicket, rough grass, shared and tattered pads and scratched ball, the players bowled, batted and fielded with spirit, supporting and encouraging each other in every move.

Denge Captain Sphamandla Bohle said the obstacles in their way mean that the team do not perform as well as they should.

This is only their second season, and last year they came second in their league.

This season they have won two matches and lost another two — but missed three games because they couldn’t get to them.

“But let me tell you something: we play cricket because we love it,” said Bohle.

Vice captain Bongokuhle Mtolo added: “A lot of youngsters in the Cato Ridge area are into soccer. We wanted to be different. There is no competition out here for cricket, so we find it in Maritzburg.”

He told The Witness that they all work and live quite far away from each other, but still manage to practise about four times a week for two to three hours at a time.

melissad@witness.co.za

IF YOU WANT TO HELP: Phone Wayne Erradu (082 840 6965) or Goolam Amod (079 892 7868) of Young Natalian, who are raising money for Denge.

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