21 Apr Betway SA20’s young talent gear up for CSA National Academy
Thursday, 20 April: The Betway SA20 may only be one season old, but its partnership with Cricket South Africa (CSA) in developing young cricketers for the future is already bearing fruit.
League Commissioner, Graeme Smith, stressed from the outset the League’s priority to give rising cricketers a platform and exposure to help close the gap between domestic cricket and the Proteas.
Part of this collaborative process will see Dewald Brevis, Duan Jansen (both MI Cape Town), Jordan Hermann (Sunrisers Eastern Cape), Mitchell van Buuren (Paarl Royals) and Caleb Saleka (Joburg Super Kings) form part of CSA’s National Academy intake for 2023.
Leg-spinner Saleka was unfortunately ruled out of the inaugural season through injury, but has since recovered and is raring to go after tapping into the intellectual capacity of Joburg Super Kings bowling coach Eric Simons during his rehabilitation.
MI Cape Town opener Brevis kickstarted the Betway SA20 in a brilliant fashion with a high-tempo 70 not out off just 41 balls, including four fours and five sixes, in the tournament’s opening game against Paarl Royals at Newlands.
The teenager eventually went on to finish second on MI Cape Town’s overall run-scorers list with 235 runs.
Fellow MI Cape Town youngster Duan Jansen also showed glimpses of his talent in the four matches that he played, which was enough to secure the lanky left-arm seamer an Indian Premier League (IPL) contract with the Mumbai Indians.
Hermann’s rise to prominence was equally remarkable as the 21-year-old was only a late addition after the Sunrisers picked him up as their wildcard after the initial auction.
The talented left-hander made an immediate impression with a stylish 59 off 44 balls (9×4,1×6) in only his second match against Durban’s Super Giants. He went on to play a crucial role in the Sunrisers lifting the inaugural Betway SA20 championship title.
Van Buuren, who is a hard-hitting middle-order batter, had limited opportunity to showcase his skills due to the Paarl Royals’ powerful top-order, but played a tidy innings against the Pretoria Capitals alongside his captain David Miller to take his team to victory at Boland Park.
“I definitely think it was a step up,” Van Buuren said of his experience. “Obviously the strength of the squads were very strong. It was definitely a step up from what I experienced before (in provincial cricket).
“That was pretty cool (the successful run chase). It was only my second game, but it was nice to finish it off. Obviously, you can ask questions and the senior guys will give you the answers, but the best way to learn is actually just to watch them do their thing. I feel that’s where I learnt more than I expected by watching Davey finish off a game right there from the non-striker’s end.”
The Cricket SA National Academy is run annually and will be held from 1 May to the end of July.