The Board of Directors of South Western Districts Cricket recently confirmed the renewal of the contract of the head coach of the past season, Deon Smith, for a further season.
Smith first objective will be to prepare his troops for a new event on the South African Cricket calendar – the recently launched Africa Twenty20 Cup. This competition – which will see thirteen provincial unions as well as Zimbabwe, Namibia and Kenya will be contested in September and October. SWD was drawn in a pool with Gauteng, Free State and Kenya and will play their pool stage over the period 25 to 27 September at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein. The pool winner will progress to the semi-final stage.
The contracts for 2015/16 were also confirmed but the team suffered a setback when Ross McMillan announced his retirement from cricket this week. McMillan played five seasons for SWD in which he played sixty (60) first class matches (all as captain). With 3371 runs at an average of 32.11 he is highest overall runs scorer in the first class format for SWD – including seven centuries and twenty half-centuries with a highest score of 204 (vs North West in Potchefstroom in the 2014/15 season). He took the second most first class wickets – 116 at an average of 20.56 – his economy rate was 2.34 runs per over and held 65 catches – also a SWD record.
He scored the 3rd most limited over runs and took the most limited over wickets – 53 wickets. In T20 cricket he scored the most career runs for SWD and jointly took the most career wickets. He twice won the Award as SWD Player of the Season and CSA Provincial Player of the season (for the limited over and T20 competition respectively).
Cricket South Africa also recently released the fixtures for the Cricket South Africa Provincial Challenge competition. The fixtures are:
- 15-18 October 2015 vs Namibia 3day and T20 (Windhoek)
- 22-25 October 2015 vs Eastern Province 3day and T20 (Oudtshoorn)
- 5-8 November 2015 vs North West 3day and 1day (Oudtshoorn)
- 29 Oct -1 November 2015 vs KwaZulu Natal 3day and 1day (Durban)
- 19-22 November 2015 vs Northerns 3day and 1day (Pretoria)
- 10-13 December 2015 vs Free State 3day and T20 (Oudtshoorn)
- 14-17 January 2016 vs Western Province 3day and 1day (Cape Town)
- 21-24 January 2016 vs Border 3day and 1day (Oudtshoorn)
- 11-14 February 2016 vs Gauteng 3day and T20 (Oudtshoorn)
- 18-21 February 2016 vs Griqualand West 3day and 1day (Kimberley)