For KZN youngster Khumalo the road to Proteas is via the U-19 Cricket World Cup
DURBAN – Mondli Khumalo is the only KZN representative in the South African U-19 Cricket World Cup squad which is due to play in the 50-overs tournament on home soil later this month.
The 18-year-old fast bowler looks set to be an important part of Lawrence Mahatlane's side who will be looking to stage a strong performance in the tournament.
He recently impressed against India U-19 who will be one of the pre-tournament favourites to win the U-19 World Cup as he finished with bowling figures of 4/53. Even though the South African's ultimately lost the game by 66 runs, Khumalo proved that he is capable of shining against the best in his age division.
South Africa U19 (Playing XI): Andrew Louw, Jonathan Bird, Luke Beaufort, Khanya Cotani(w), Bryce Parsons(c), Jack Lees, Tiaan van Vuuren, Tyrese Karelse, Achille Cloete, Mondli Khumalo, Odirile Modimokoane— All India Radio Sports (@akashvanisports) January 5, 2020
#SAvNZ #U19QuadSeries pic.twitter.com/IXbNdacke5
The former Maritzburg College's student is fondly known as the “Umlazi Express” and is proud of his roots.
“It really feels nice to see what I've done not only for my township but for myself, my family. I aim to show anyone that it is not about where you come from but about where you are going in this big world” said Khumalo.
Khumalo took up the game of cricket when he was 12-years-old and soon began to shine as he was chosen to represent the Provincial U13B side the next year. He credits one of the best moments of his career so far as being when he achieved bowling figures of 7/37 from 10 overs during a game against Maritzburg College's arch-rivals Michaelhouse when he was just 16-years-old.
The display from the youngster led to him being included in the South African U-19 team squad which participated in a triangular series against South Africa, England and Namibia in 2017.
#SAu19s | Wow! A pearler of a delivery from Mondli Khumalo up front to trap Rhyse Mariu (1) LBW.— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) January 5, 2020
The good start continues as Mariu joins Simon Keene (0) back in the changeroom.
NZ: 1/2 after 1.1 overs. #SAvNZ #U19QuadSeries #FutureStars pic.twitter.com/3LjMeVLxo5
Khumalo, whose cricket role models are South African quick bowler Kagiso Rabada and Indian captain Virat Kohli, is aiming to one day don the jersey of the Proteas.
The national team may currently be going through a challenging phase but if one thing is certain, it is that there will be no shortage of replacements for the likes of Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn with the likes of KZN's Lifa Ntanzi, Khumalo and many other talented bowlers from across the country coming through the ranks.