The KZN Academy side that competed in the tournament in Gauteng. (Back row, from left) Nhlanhla Dlamini, Daelen Fynn, Khwezi Gumede (middle row, from left) Yves Kamanzi, Brad Porteous, Robin Smith, Mlungiseleli Gcado, Jason Wagener (bottom row, from left) Jason Krafft, Adam Mather, Lungelo Dlamini, Nazeer Jaffar, and Waseem Rahman. Picture Gameplan Media.

DURBAN - THE KwaZulu-Natal Academy just missed the mark to participate in an exciting upcoming ‘quadrangular tournament’ against their counterparts from across the country.

After finishing the group stage of the tournament as the top-ranked side, the KZN boys went into the final against Northerns, but lost to the hosts in Tshwane.

Despite missing the final hurdle, KZN Academy head coach, Mduduzi Mbatha said there’s more in store.

"The guys fought hard and played some good cricket, and I think the tournament is great preparation for the Academy week that is coming up next year," Mbatha said.

The Academy side will return to their Kingsmead base where they will join the rest of KZN's top amateur cricketers in the build up to the Aucor Dolphins Premier League.

Said Mbatha: "I think it is going to be vital for the guys to prepare well for the DPL because it could prove to be a great stepping stone for them to push for a spot in the KZN Coastal's team.”

"It is going to be a good tournament for the guys as there is a strong mix of amateurs and professionals across all of the teams. This will provide the academy boys with a good test and provide them with much-needed experience," he added.

The Academy will also assisting with preparation duties for the upcoming Africa T20 Cup.

"We are going to be playing against Western Province in a warm up game before they go up to Pietermaritzburg for the Africa Cup. It has been a busy period for the guys and we are happy with how they are coming along, we want to see the guys pushing for spots in the Coastals team on a regular basis," said Mbatha.

KZN Cricket is currently in the process of selecting the new intake for 2019 ahead of their Academy Week that will take place in March.

SUNDAY TRIBUNE