Cape Town ready to host the Over-50s Cricket World Cup
CAPE TOWN - South Africa is to host the Over 50s Cricket World Cup when Cape Town welcomes teams from 11 cricket-playing nations along with the Proteas' veterans.
Teams are coming from England, the West Indies, Australia, New Zealand, three from the subcontinent - not to mention Canada and Wales - and our neighbours Namibia and Zimbabwe.
The South African legends - including those who were denied the opportunity to compete for places at their peak due to apartheid - will compete in at least seven 45-over games from 11 March.
The final is set for the world-famous Newlands cricket ground on 24 March.
Players like Rodney Malamba, Lefty Ngece, Nazeem White and Anwell Newman will finally get the chance to wear the Proteas emblem.
The tournament is being arranged by the Veterans Cricket Association of South Africa (VCASA), an ancillary member of Cricket South Africa (CSA) whose mission is to keep older cricketers in the game.
“As headline sponsor last year, we had the opportunity to support the formation of veterans cricket in South Africa and by investing in this World Cup we can give back to a sport South Africans enjoy,” says Arthur Case, Evergreen Retirement Holdings brand ambassador.
“We are calling on our communities to fill the stadiums as our cricket legends deserve our support. It is also a really good opportunity to see some of the greatest cricket players of South African- and world cricket take the stage.”
The SA veterans squad is being coached by Protea’s legend - fast bowler Allan Donald - and captained by Dave Callaghan and includes former Proteas internationals Louis Koen, Pieter Strydom, Henry Williams and Alan Dawson.
“The competitive edge is still there in our squad of 16,” said South African Captain, former EP and Proteas all-rounder, Dave Callaghan.
“Most of us who hit the ball well in our 20s and 30s can still hit it decently now. Those of us who bowled fast or medium have now turned to spin but there will be some sore bodies.
“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.”
Tournament organisers have scheduled the pool matches at schools and cricket clubs around Cape Town; from Langa to Stellenbosch, including Rondebosch and Wynberg, the old schools of Gary Kirsten and Jacques Kallis.
The opening game between Wales and South Africa will be held at Cape Town Cricket Club (CC) on 11 March, while defending champions Australia will tackle strongly fancied underdogs Zimbabwe at Claremont CC.
Favourites, India and England, square off at Green Point CC, New Zealand will face West Indies at Rondebosch CC, while Sri Lanka tackle Canada and Pakistan face Namibia at Western Province CC.
The third round will be played in and around the Cape winelands of Stellenbosch and Paarl, while the proud cricketing heritage of Langa Cricket Club will be recognised with the hosting of England and Pakistan in round five, as well as two play-off fixtures.
Almost 40 years after his retirement from the game, Barry Richards remains indisputably one of the greatest batsmen to have played the game, from any nation. Selected by Sir Donald Bradman in his all-time World XI, Richards continues to feature in debate and discussion around the ‘greatest’.
“I love the idea of continuing to play in your 50s, especially with the motivation of a World Cup,” Richards said. “If only it had been around when I was in my 50s!”
“It is a fantastic concept to keep the greater cricket family together and I’m extremely proud to be an ambassador for the tournament,” he says. “I’m looking forward to watching some close and competitive games.”
Admission is free to all the games.
SA Over 50s Squad:
Dave Callaghan (Captain), Louis Koen, Alan Dawson, Pieter Strydom, Kenny Jackson, Dave Holgate, Anwell Newman, Neil Fusedale, Rodney Malamba, Mlungisi ‘Lefty’ Ngece, Dave Duncan, Bruce Wilson, Warne Rippon, Brad Player, Nazeem White and Henry Williams.
Coach: Allan Donald
Manager: Roy Meeser
Physio: Marc Naidoo