Pro20 tournament dates set with no school consultation

2010-03-02 00:00

THE confirmed date for the South African final of the Standard Bank School’s Pro20 tournament has been set by Cricket South Africa for the weekend of March 27 and 28. This has obviously been done without checking with schools on their schedules. All school rugby and hockey festivals are taking place over that weekend and the schools that do get through to the finals will have players that are in their cricket­ team that will also be in both the hockey and rugby sides.

Thus there is a major problem on any of the weekends from the present, as the winter code sports in most schools begin this week. If a school has a team in the finals they will not be able to go to the finals without some practice and this will also interfere with the rugby and hockey practices at these schools. These are school boys and not yet professional sportsmen who are specialising in one sport and after all, the main objective at school is their academics.

In the KwaZulu-Natal Inland region, Howick played in a regional final against Pionier from Vryheid. Pionier struggled against some tight bowling to be all out for 70 in the 20th over. Howick reached this target with eight wickets in hand. They lost two relatively early wickets and then Gareth Gardner (26*) and Cody Mortimer (32*) took them to victory.

This put them through to a semi-final against Maritzburg College. This match was played at College on Sunday morning. Howick were put in to bat and started reasonably, being 53 for four after 11 overs.

In the next nine overs, however, they could only manage a further 20 runs to reach 73 for nine after the 20 overs. Wickets were shared by the College bowlers.

College expectedly won the match by nine wickets, reaching the target in the 13th over with Jarryd Walsh and Tyler Lortan unbeaten on 36 and 30 respectively.

In the other semi-final Hilton were supposed to play St Charles, but Hilton withdrew and St Charles, having been convincingly beaten twice by College, conceded the match.

College thus go through to the KZN final due on March 20 at Kingsmead.

The KZN Coastal games are being finalised­ with DHS and Kearsney likely to meet in the semi-final in pool A and Glenwood likely to go through to the final­ from pool B.

Once this has been decided the winners, likely Glenwood and Kearsney, will play in the Coastal final to see who will play Maritzburg College on March 20. This is a Thursday and both College and the Coastal winners will have rugby and hockey practices ahead of matches on the Saturday.

A better day would be March 19. Unfortunately­, the dates have been set without any consultation with the schools to see where best to fit them in.

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