Gqeberha – From South Africa Under-19 colours to training with the Lions senior men’s team, 17-year-old left-arm quick Kwena Maphaka has been called up to the South Africa A squad as replacement to the injured Lutho Sipamla.
The first time the world was introduced to Maphaka was during the 2022 Under-19 World Cup that was staged in the West Indies, where a 15-year-old Maphaka showcased his skills.
Pundits who were covering that World Cup took note of Maphaka’s raw pace and were in awe of his composure in the high-pressure tournament.
The last 18-months saw Maphaka and his SA U19 teammates win the Division Two CSA T20 Knockout tournament in East London, beating professional teams with relative ease.
Maphaka played a crucial role in that tournament and since then, he has joined the Lions senior men’s side in training on numerous occasions as local coaches wanted a piece of the rising star.
Coached by Shukri Conrad at U19 level, Maphaka has been called up to the SA A squad, which is also led by Conrad as coach.
This is a result of an injury to another Lions fast bowler Lutho Sipamla, who is suffering from a lower back spasm.
“South Africa A and Lions bowler Lutho Sipamla has been ruled out of the third one-day match against Sri Lanka due to a back injury,” Cricket SA said on Thursday morning.
“The 25-year-old experienced discomfort ahead of the second unofficial 50-over match on Tuesday and the MRI scan revealed no stress fracture.
“Further assessment, however, revealed he was suffering from a lower-back spasm. A decision on his inclusion in the two-match four-day series will be taken in due course.
“SA U19 and Lions bowler Kwena Maphaka has been called up to strengthen the squad and will arrive on 9 June in preparation for the first four-day match.”
Maphaka stands a chance to play in his first senior men’s match when the red-ball leg of the SA A tour to Sri Lanka starts on Monday.