Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) top priority is winning the World Cup and giving the Proteas men’s and women’s teams the best possible chance in future tournaments.
The governing body has re-opened its National Academy for the first time since 2019. The 34-member squad was capped at the CSA Centre of Excellence on Tuesday night.
The class of 2023 featuring 16 women and 18 men are a group of young cricketers who are likely to represent the Proteas’ at the highest level in the future.
The winter camp, run between May and July in Pretoria is a rigorous and grueling programme that deals with a holistic approach to the individual and the game.
The Proteas’ Under 19 Coach, Malibongwe Maketla is leading the men’s squad.
The Proteas men’s team has under-performed in big global events, but Maketa is quietly confident about their prospects, with an eye on the 2027 World Cup.
The academy was put on hiatus for the last few years due to the Coronavirus pandemic and this group of youngsters are understandably thrilled to be a part of the rejuvenated programme.
The women’s teams in contrast to the men, have enjoyed sustained success in recent years.
This year the senior Proteas women battled their way into the final of the Women’s World Cup in Cape Town in February and a month before that the inaugural Under 19 Women’s World Cup was hosted on South African shores, where the Proteas won three out of their four group matches.
Oluhle Siyo led the Under 19 women during that tournament. Women’s Under 19 Coach Dinesha Devnarain who leads the women’s programme believes that it’s crucial to keep up with international standards to remain competitive on the world stage.
Coach D as she’s known is a former Proteas player and a graduate of the academy, is also a firm believer in the three I’s.
The men’s camp has started and will conclude at the end of July while the women’s camp will run through June and July.