Cricket South Africa (CSA) launched the Coca-Cola Schools T20 Challenge in Johannesburg on Monday morning.
The competition is considered the breeding ground for up and coming talent in South Africa and CSA is looking to cast that net even wider this season and to continue their focus on transformation.
The new generation of Proteas superstars; Kagiso Rabada, Andile Phelukwayo, Lungi Ngidi, Quinton de Kock and captain Aiden Markram all started their international journeys at the T20 schools challenge.
For CSA it is a crucial part of the pipeline that services South Africa’s national teams with the cream of the cricketing crop.
And the governing body, which is adamant about enforcing their transformation policies, is sticking to their guns this season.
“To be fair, we approached schools at the start of the season this is the target two black players in the team and the four players at finals week but if you cannot comply tell and give us a plan of how you are going to progress and change in the future those schools that complied no issue those that don’t need to have a plan and those who couldn’t had to excluded,” said Corrie Van Zyl of Cricket CSA.
In an attempt to cast the net further and wider, Proteas batsman Themba Bavuma has been appointed tournament ambassador and he will be on the lookout for outstanding young players to be part of the Coca-Cola T20 All-Star Team.
This team will comprise 12 players, two from each franchise final and they will play in a curtain-raiser against a CSA Development Hub team during the national finals.
“I’m going to look for players that encapsulate what the Proteas stand for. Everyone has talent but it’s all the other aspects; mental the grit, the perseverance, resilience, those are the additional attributes you need to have to get to the Proteas’ level,” said Bavuma.
The three-day national finals will take place at the University of Pretoria Cricket Oval from March 16 – 18.