‘We also want to see players develop’ - SA A captain Tony De Zorzi

Tony de Zorzi of South Africa celebrates a catch during 2023 Betway Test Match 2nd Test on day two against the West Indies at DP World Wanderers

SA A captain Tony de Zorzi is confident that the team's preparation leading up to the tour of Sri Lanka should allow the players to be ready. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Published Jun 1, 2023


Gqeberha – SA A captain Tony de Zorzi is confident that the team's preparation leading up to the tour of Sri Lanka should allow the players to be ready for the first match on Sunday.

The SA A squad which landed in Sri Lanka on Thursday has a considerable element of youth to it, and there is much excitement around the potential of the young players.

SA A coach Shukri Conrad, also former South Africa Under-19 coach, has selected a number of exciting young talents including batters Jordan Hermann, Tristan Stubbs, Matthew Breetkze and Sinethemba Qeshile to name a few.

The oldest group of players in the squad are 29-years-old and there’s only four of them in Keegan Petersen, Tshepo Moreki, Lizaad Williams and Senuran Muthusamy. But even with those players in the squad, there’s not much international experience to boast about.

With this level of talent and potential within the squad, the 25-year-old Tony de Zorzi, who’s also captain, says there’s a development aspect of the tour that they are aware of seeing that it is a young squad.

“We also want to see players develop in different conditions at the same time, so that is the aim.” said Tony de Zorzi.

With players like Gerald Coetzee, Lutho Sipamla and Beyers Swanepoel in the attack, it doesn’t matter who you are playing against, there’s plenty cause for optimism.

“I’m quite excited about the challenge of leading the ‘A’ side for this tour,” he said. “It’s a massive honour and I’m really pleased to be given the job.

“We have a very talented squad of players that have been put together by coach Shukri. I’m pleased to be working with them and look forward to learning from them as well.”

“We want to obviously go there and win both series, that’s the main target.” he added.

All this confidence stems from the level of preparation back home in South Africa.

The squad had over a month to prepare individually, and then got together in camp in Pretoria where they spent a week honing their skills.

De Zorzi mentioned that they had an intense camp which saw them train twice a day, and all that preparation is the reason behind their confidence going into this tour.

“We caught a lot of the nets, we had double sessions most of the days in the morning, followed by afternoon sessions and had a couple of warm-up games and then middle session scenarios,” De Zorzi explained.

“It's always nice to be in the middle, spend time on the legs for the batters and for the bowlers to get a proper feel of some game time with some match-like intensity and then obviously preparing for certain conditions as well.

“So I think preparations have gone really well and everyone is ready to go and hit the ground running come the weekend.”

The first match of the tour will be one of three List A (50-Overs) matches and will take place on Sunday in Kandy.


IOL Sport