Cape Town - Former Eastern Province and Proteas all-rounder Dave Callaghan has been appointed captain of the South African over-50s squad for the World Cup to be played in Cape Town in March this year.
Callaghan, 54, will take charge of a strong 16-man squad which includes six former internationals and 15 players with first-class or List 'A' experience including 'regular' World Cup veterans Jonty Rhodes and Alan Dawson.
Callaghan played 146 first-class matches for EP and Griquas and 29 ODIs for South Africa in which he famously scored 169* opening the batting against New Zealand at Centurion in 1994. He also claimed 3-32 to make absolutely certain of the man-of-the-match award.
"It’s a fantastic honour to be playing for an official South African team again, none of us imagined we would get this chance, especially a World Cup," Callaghan said.
"We have a strong team on paper and, I can assure you, the boys are already putting in extra work and loading up on their game time to make sure we’re in the best shape possible in March – and good on grass as well as paper."
Callaghan still plays for Old Grey CC in Port Elizabeth although his medium pacers have now become off-spinners.
"There is generally a bit more spin bowled in Over-50 cricket but most of us can still hit the ball as well as we did a few years ago. We were all very competitive sportsmen in our prime and that doesn’t change, but the spirit and camaraderie will be even better. Being over 50 doesn’t make you 'old'," Callaghan said.
The squad will be coached by great fast bowler Allan Donald who might otherwise have been selected in the squad but for injury. Louis Koen, Pieter Strydom and Henry Williams complete the international half-dozen.
Australia are the defending Over-50 champions having defeated Pakistan by just three runs in a tense final in Sydney in 2018.
The tournament features 12 teams and will be played at various venues in and around Cape Town before the final at Newlands on 24 March 2020.
"Evergreen Lifestyle is delighted to serve as headline sponsor for the Over 50’s Cricket World Cup in Cape Town in March 2020. Not only are we a sports loving brand, but we are excited to play a positive role in the establishment of veterans cricket in South Africa. Our cricket legends of yesteryear deserve our support," concluded Evergreen Retirement Holdings Brand Marketing Director, Arthur Case.
SA Over-50 Squad:
Jonty Rhodes, Dave Callaghan, Louis Koen, Alan Dawson, Pieter Strydom, Kenny Jackson, Dave Holgate, Anwell Newman, Neil Fusedale, Rodney Malamba, Mlungisi ‘Lefty’ Ngece, Dave Duncan, Warne Rippon, Brad Player, Nazeem White, Henry Williams.
Coach: Allan Donald
Manager: Roy Meeser
Physio: Marc Naidoo