Members of the Western Province Women’s cricket team with KFC Mini-Cricket children. Picture: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images
Members of the Western Province Women’s cricket team with KFC Mini-Cricket children. Picture: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

Unearthing future Proteas stars

By Keagan Mitchell Time of article published Oct 17, 2020

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THE KFC Mini-Cricket Programme is the breaking ground for future Proteas cricketing heroes.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) and KFC recently launched the mini-cricket provincial seminars across the 16 unions, which will continue until the end of the month.

The seminars will be used to engage with more than 1 280 co-ordinators and volunteer coaches regarding performance and growth of the children and the plans for the upcoming season.

Yesterday, Proteas Women wicket-keeper Sinalo Jafta and Cape Cobras players Kyle Verreynne and Tony de Zorzi shared their experiences and expertise at the Western Province Cricket Association seminar.

Verreynne said: “It is important to get girls and boys in cricket as soon as possible. The best advice I can give youngsters is to make sure in seeing the fun of the game and using it as an enjoyment factor.

"When I played mini-cricket, there weren't any boundaries. One will just hit the ball, and run as many runs you can. Growing up, I looked up to a few people, and those people are the reason for where I am today.”

Verreynne made his ODI debut for the Proteas against Australia in February. South Africa went on to win the series 3-0.

“It was a great experience to play against Australia. I took a lot out of the fact that hard work does pay off. Going forward, I would like to solidify myself in the Proteas set-up,” he added.

De Zorzi, who recently joined the Cape Cobras, said: “It is very important to look up to someone when you are young. It gives you a dream, and you hold yourself accountable to that dream.

“If you look up to someone like Kyle, you can ask yourself: are you working as hard as him? and are you hitting as many balls as him? My goals for the season are to adapt as quick as possible and to bring good success and performances to the Cobras.”

Western Province mini-cricket co-ordinator, Mark Kistor Khoabane, said: “KFC Mini-Cricket is important in growing the cricket programme in South Africa.

“Besides the cricket part of the programme, KFC is extremely important in the transformation objectives of the CSA programme. We have kids from all races, religions and economic conditions playing against each other as equals.”

CSA’s mass participation co-ordinator, Buhle Motshegoa, said: “We look forward to engaging with the KFC Mini-Cricket co-ordinators and the volunteer coaches who are such an integral part of the KFC Mini-Cricket programme.

"We hope through these virtual seminars, we are still able to reignite the passion for the game and continue to instil skills and information that will help grow the sport we love.”

Meanwhile, 100 bats were donated to junior cricket in celebrating a milestone in the development of the Newlands Cricket Ground.

Hosted by Stefanutti Stocks, the main contractor of the R800m re-development of the Newlands Cricket Ground, around 100 people comprised of contractors, sub-contractors and architects gathered for the traditional flag raising for reaching the milestone. A ceremonial raising of the 100 donated bats and a friendly game of cricket took place.

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