Wiaan Mulder has been selected as SA U19 captain for their ODI-triangular series against Sri Lanka and Zimbawe, followed by a three-match series against Sri Lanka.
Coach Lawrence Mahatlane believes the squad, named after the Franchise Cubs Week in Stellenbosch on Sunday evening, is the best for the conditions and the opposition. He is excited to see what Mulder will bring to the side after playing for the Highveld Lions.
‘I’m very excited to have Wiaan Mulder back as our captain,’ he said. ‘There was a possibility of leaving Wiaan out of the team and giving a younger guy an opportunity, but the experience that he will bring to the setup from playing for the Lions is going to be invaluable to our side.’
Mahatlane is also pleased that Lutho Sipamla, also named in the squad, missed Cubs Week due a call-up to play Eastern Province in the CSA One-Day Challenge. He believes that the exposure the two will be getting at a higher level will provide great value to the team during the series.
‘It’s an exciting group of players,’ he said. ‘I think the difficulty in selecting the team shows the quality of cricket that has been on show this week. It was tough to pick the side, but I think we’ve got the right balance from a long term and a short term point of view.
‘It’s important to note that we weren’t just looking at performances this week but how the guys have done throughout the year and how we believe they will perform against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.’
Mulder is delighted to once again be called up to captain the SA U19s. ‘At this age, it’s definitely the pinnacle and to get another nod from Cricket South Africa to lead the team is a massive honour,’ he said.
‘This is going to be a tough tour, but I’m really excited to get the tour started with a team that I know is equally as keen as I am to play for their country.’
The triangular series will be split between four venues in Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Paarl from 14-28 January, while the last three ODIs against Sri Lanka will take place in Oudtshoorn from 1-5 February.
Coca-Cola South Africa under-19 squad:
Wiaan Mulder (Highveld Lions), Matthew Breetzke (Warriors), Jesse Christensen (Cape Cobras), Michael Cohan (Cape Cobras), Jade de Klerk (Warriors), Ruan de Swardt (Titans), Siphamandla Kwreqe (Warriors), Wandile Makwetu (Highveld Lions), Mohammed Mayet (Highveld Lions), Akhona Mnyaka (Warriors), Jason Niemand (Wariors), Lutho Sipamla (Warriors), Keenan Smith (Warriors), Mitchell van Buuren (Highveld Lions), Raynard van Tonder (Knights).