The Madibaz cricket team will be aiming to achieve success in a number of different areas of the game when they challenge for the Varsity Cricket Twenty20 title in Potchefstroom next week.
The annual tournament takes place from Monday to Saturday and newly appointed coach Lefa Mosena wants the Nelson Mandela University outfit to be as competitive as possible against their peers.
He said there were several elements that the squad, under the captaincy of Joshua van Heerden, would have to get right to have a chance of contesting the final.
“We are not relying on any particular individuals because all the players are key in the specific roles they have in the team,” said Mosena. “This is crucial to success as the room for error in Twenty20 cricket is so small.
“The main element we need to get right is making the right decision at the right time and we will also have to adjust to the different situations we will face during matches,” said Mosena.
He added that there was a hunger in the squad to show what they could do on a platform such as this.
“The players really want to do well as one of our missions going forward is to be ranked high in the university cricket system.
“The boys are eager to play competitive cricket again and are open to new ways of playing and thinking about the game, which gives me a lot of confidence ahead of our departure for Potchefstroom on Sunday.”
Coming a month before the start of the official cricket season, Mosena said they had had six weeks to prepare.
“We used the first two weeks to concentrate on the basics and had discussions about T20 cricket at the EP Cricket indoor facility in St George’s Park.
“We then moved to turf nets where we could execute our plans at 100%.
“In between that we had T20 warm-up games, which turned out to be a fruitful exercise to gauge where we were and to select our final 14-man squad.”
He said as it was so early in the season one of the main challenges had been to find turf nets and pitches that were consistently up to standard.
“Our facility supervisor has really tried to accommodate us with this and I would like to sincerely thank him for that.
“Another issue was making sure we struck a balance between the players’ studies and their cricket and, with good communication, it has been going as well as can be expected.
“I would like to thank all the administrators and the media for the support with our journey so far and the players for their connection and hard work,” added Mosena.
Madibaz Sport cricket manager Sipho Sibande said they were excited to see a new generation of cricketers test themselves on a national platform.
“We have a slightly inexperienced team, but we are confident that the experience gained at the 2019 Varsity Cricket competition will stand us in good stead as we plan for the future,” he said.
Madibaz will open their programme against University of Cape Town at 6pm on Monday. The remaining fixtures will be against North-West University, University of Johannesburg, Stellenbosch, Central University of Technology, University of Western Cape and UP-Tuks.
CAPTION: Hlumelo Cekisani will be a key member of the Madibaz squad at the Varsity Cricket tournament in Potchefstroom from Monday to Saturday. Photo: Brittany Blaauw