Cape Town - Organisers of the Awqaf SA Hundred Youth Cricket Tournament have hailed the inaugural event as a resounding success. This year’s display of youth cricket was hosted in partnership with Primrose Cricket Club and Western Province Cricket Association.
Players in the under-16 and under-18 age group categories from Durbanville CC, Fish Hoek CC, Mitchells Plain CC, Ottoman CC, Primrose CC, Rylands CC, Solomon Makhosana CC, Stellenbosch CC and Sunningdale CC, put on a show-stopping display of skills and talent, with some exceptional team and individual performances.
In the under-18 category, in a close-fought match against Mitchells Plain Cricket Club, Ottoman Cricket Club batsman Yazeed Arendse scored 126 runs from just 47 balls, before retiring hurt.
Another stand-out performance was by Rylands Cricket Club’s Thaakier Davids, who scored an unbeaten 101 runs, also against Mitchells Plain CC.
For Tygerberg Cricket Club under-16 player Matthew Florence, the tournament was exciting, and the level of cricket made for good competition. “It was a great experience. This was a trial-run for us to see how we compete against other club teams. We are motivated to improve our performance, and we look forward to coming back next year.”
Held under the patronage of former president of Cricket South Africa Beresford Williams, former WPCA chief executive Nabeal Dien, and Proteas cricketing legend JP Duminy, the Awqaf SA Hundred Youth Cricket Tournament was designed to promote social cohesion and give equal opportunity to our youth, irrespective of their economic and social backgrounds.
“It was great to attend this celebration of youth cricket, and to witness these beautiful scenes of community. We must continue to create opportunities like these that give our youth an equal opportunity to play this beautiful game,” Williams reflected.
“In many communities, our youth are denied access due to several reasons, such as the lack of resources, access to facilities and specialised coaching. I salute Awqaf SA and Primrose Cricket Club for championing this initiative, which is truly building social cohesion and contributing to the beautiful game of cricket,” he said.
For Awqaf SA, an Islamic endowment charity, using the vehicle of sport was the best way to build a truly grass-roots event that transcends any social, religious and economic barriers.
“We are immensely proud of what we have built with our partners. This tournament has been running since 2015, and to be able to come back a year later after we had to postpone the 2020 event due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and see so much joy on and off the fields, tells us that we have done our young cricketers justice,” Awqaf SA deputy chief executive Mickaeel Collier said.
“For the first time ever, all matches were broadcast online, opening the tournament up to a new virtual audience. This was a massive achievement for community cricket, and we will continue to find new and innovative ways to showcase the amazing talent we have in our communities. Thank you to the local organising committee, volunteers, sponsors and stakeholders for making the event a memorable one,” he said.