Sunfoil Education Trust bursary recipients relish SA U19s UK tour opportunity

Mondli Khumalo in action for the Coca-Cola SA U19s in Potchefstroom in 2017.

Mondli Khumalo in action for the Coca-Cola SA U19s in Potchefstroom in 2017.

The tale of the two Khumalos in the Coca-Cola South Africa under-19 team continues as Thamsanqa and Mondli Khumalo express their joy and excitement ahead of their first overseas trip. The pair will be a part of the squad that is preparing to travel to the United Kingdom to face England in a Youth Test and One-Day International series from 08-29 July.

The promising cricketers, who are the fruits of the KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union and the Sunfoil Township and Rural Development Programme, assembled with the rest of the squad in Pretoria this week, as they got their final preparations underway with a three-day warm-up match against the Northerns Senior Provincial team at the Groenkloof Oval.

“It’s been great,” says Thamsanqa, with a sunny smile. “The preparation has been good. We are gelling well as a team and everything has just been perfect. I am very excited and it’s an honour and a privilege to be in the SA U19s side.”

Thamsanqa (18) is currently completing his matric year at Glenwood High School, thanks to his Sunfoil Education Trust bursary. The opening-batsman was selected for the scholarship while representing KZN at under 13 A, before going on to be capped at under 15 A, 17 A and the prestigious Coca-Cola Khaya Majola Week.

“That literally changed my whole life (SET scholarship to Glenwood),” he says. “Because I didn’t expect I’d be going to a high school like Glenwood but I am there now and it is all because of Sunfoil. It is also because of Sunfoil that I am here at the U19s. They did everything for me, paid for my school fees and anything I needed at school.

“Probably, if it wasn’t for the Sunfoil Education Trust, I wouldn’t be here,” he concluded.

Mondli Khumalo (17), who is no stranger to the U19 set-up having represented the side in September last year during a triangular series featuring England and Namibia, is also a beneficiary of the SET programme. The fast bowler credits the involvement of Sunfoil as well as his coach from the Umlazi Cricket Club for his progress through the KZN ranks, all the way up to the national level.

“They (Sunfoil) have been really good to me,” Mondli stated. “Not only do they pay for my school fees (at Maritzburg College) and everything, but they help a lot with my cricket as well. They make sure I am happy at all times and I can just focus on my education and on my cricket.

“My old coach at Umlazi, Sandile (Simelane) was also big for me. Without him, I don’t think I would have played cricket and be able to play at this sort of level.”

The inclusion of Thamsanqa and Mondli in the national U19 squad to England is another feather in the Sunfoil Education Trust programme’s cap after Andile Mogakane featured for the team at this year’s ICC U19 World Cup. Manager of the SET programme, Sanelisiwe Kuzwayo expressed her delight for the boys last month, when they were named in the touring squad.

“This is such a huge achievement for the boys,” she said. “Moreover, it is a huge achievement for our programme and bears testament to the fact that we are producing results.”

“Our coaches work tirelessly, and in addition to coaching, they also play a mentorship role in the lives of our cricketers – this is a proud moment for them too.”

Coca-Cola South Africa under-19 squad

Wandile Makwetu (captain, Northerns), Archille Cloete (Boland), Jade de Klerk (Eastern Province), Jean du Plessis (South Western Districts), Jarred Jardine (Gauteng), Mondli Khumalo (KZN Inland), Thamsanqa Khumalo (KwaZulu-Natal Dolphins), Jacob Miltz (Gauteng), Kgaudise Molefe (Gauteng), Jason Niemand (Border), Thando Ntini (Western Province ), Gideon Peters (Northerns), Sinethemba Qeshile (Border), Joshua Richards (Gauteng), Louis van Schalkwyk (North West), Jonathan Bird* (Western Province), Curtis Campher* (Northerns).

*Jonathan Bird and Curtis Campher will join the team for the ODI series, replacing Jacob Miltz and Jarred Jardine.

Tour schedule

Sunday, 08 July 2018 – 1st Youth Test Match (Scarborough)
Monday 16 July 2018 – 2nd Youth Test Match (Emirates Riverside)
Monday 23 July 2018 – 1st Youth ODI (Emirates Riverside)
Thursday, 26 July 2018 – 2nd Youth ODI (South North CC)
Sunday, 29 July 2018 – 3rd Youth ODI (Scarbourough)