South Africa U19 squad announced

South Africa U19 squad announced

STELLENBOSCH: Cricket South Africa (CSA) today announced a 15-man South Africa Under-19 squad following the conclusion of the CSA Under-19 Franchise Cubs Week, in Stellenbosch.

Western Province’s Daniel Smith, who less than 24-hours earlier led the Six Gun Grill Cape Cobras to the Cubs Week title, has been named the captain of the junior Proteas.

The left-hander enjoyed a prolific campaign with the bat as he recorded 301 runs across four appearances for the Cobras and finished second on the run charts behind Jordan Hermann. The Northerns’ opener amassed 364 runs for the Momentum Multiply Titans at a staggering average of 91.00, including the highest individual score of the week of 139 against the VKB Knights in the opening round of matches.

Caleb Seleka and Darian Naidoo earned their inclusion in the national squad after impressive performances with the ball for the Imperial Lions and Cobras respectively. The former’s spin garnered nine wickets at a remarkable economy of just under three runs an over. Naidoo enjoyed similar success as his pace yielded nine wickets, with a best of 4-36 against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins.

In addition to the 15-man squad, five players have been included as part of an extended training squad. Among those five are one of the tournament’s leading wicket-takers and Central Gauteng Lions seamer Liam Alder and talented KZN Inland all-rounder, Luc Benkenstein.

The SA U19 squad will feature as the 16th team in the CSA 3-Day Provincial Cup and Provincial One-Day Challenge, scheduled to start next month. Shukri Conrad’s side will compete in two three-day matches and three 50-over encounters. Further tournament details will be announced in due course.

“Firstly, credit must go to Cricket South Africa for successfully hosting the first age-group tournament of the season in a bio-secure environment,” commented CSA Under-19 Selection Convener Patrick Moroney.

“Cubs Week provided the opportunity to access the talent and level of competition from across the country and we certainly have some exciting young cricketers within our provincial stable. Having to narrow 84 players to a 15-man squad is never an easy decision, especially given the calibre of talent that was on display this past week, but we do believe we’ve chosen a well-balanced squad.”

“The 15 players were capped during a closing ceremony on Sunday night. The five additional players will travel with the core squad and will receive their caps if they are selected to compete in the Senior Provincial tournaments.”

U19 head coach Conrad added: “I am extremely pleased with the group of players that have been selected to compete in the Senior Provincial tournaments.

“The competitiveness with which the teams approached Cubs Week and the mental tenacity which the players performed was particularly impressive, especially during the matches that went down to the wire.

“I am looking forward to seeing these players carry their form to the next level. I believe the experience they will gain from playing against senior cricketers, especially in the three-day format, will be highly beneficial to their development.

“This is the first of many steps as we build towards next year’s ICC Under 19 World Cup, in the West Indies. It is a long way to go and other players will have the opportunity to make their way into the squad,” concluded Conrad.

SA UNDER 19 15-MAN SQUAD (FROM): Daniel Smith (captain, Western Province), Dewald Brevis (Northerns), Jan Hendrik Coetzer (Northerns), Michael Copeland (Central Gauteng Lions), Jordan Hermann (Northerns), Taheer Isaacs (Central Gauteng Lions), Darian Naidoo (Western Province), Caleb Seleka (North West), Andile Simelane (KZN Inland), Jade Smith (Eastern Province), Kaden Solomons (Western Province), Joshua Stevenson (Eastern Province), Nathan Steyn (Easterns), Asakhe Tsaka (Western Province), George van Heerden (Eastern Province)

FIVE ADDITIONAL PLAYERS: Liam Alder (Central Gauteng Lions), Luc Benkenstein (KZN Inland), Ethan Cunningham (Western Province), Selo (Valentine) Kitime (Northerns), Samuel Ruwisi (Central Gauteng Lions).