Wiaan Mulder – Gauteng
Identifying Mulder as a player to watch is predictable, but necessary. The St Stithians College pupil scooped up the awards for SA U19 Cricketer of the Year, Coca-Cola T20 Schools T20 cricketer of the Year and Khaya Majola Week Player of the Tournament for the 2015-16 season. He has already played four Sunfoil Series matches for the Lions, taking a staggering 18 wickets to go with 185 runs in seven innings that included a brilliant 104 against the Knights. He bossed the 2015 Coke Week and will head to the 2016 event as the tournament’s most high-profile player since Kagiso Rabada as he leads a start-studded Gauteng team.
Jade de Klerk – Eastern Province
A left-arm orthodox spinner who is more than capable with the willow, De Klerk impressed at the 2015 Coke Week taking nine wickets and earning an SA Colts cap. The Woodridge College pupil toured Sri Lanka with the SA U19 team earlier this year and performed well with the ball. A miserly spinner, De Klerk carries some good form into the Coke Week having bowled a spell of 3-9 in 10 overs against Grey High in November.
Raynard van Tonder – Free State
The second-highest run scorer at the 2015 Coke Week which included a 76 for the SA Schools team, Van Tonder has played for both the Free State men’s team and the SA U19 side in 2016. Boasting a First-Class and List A average in excess of 60, albeit from one match, Van Tonder can be expected to once again be in the runs at Coke Week. A capable batsman, with great temperament and hitting ability, he will be a key in the Free State top order.
Ruan de Swardt – Northerns
The Affies star will be hoping to join an elite list that features the likes of Herschelle Gibbs, Conrad Jantjes and Errol Stewart as he attempts to become the first dual SA Schools Rugby and Cricket player since Maritzburg College’s Adrian Penzhorn in 2002. The skilful flyhalf has been a consistent performer with both willow and leather for his school, featuring prominently in the Coke T20 Schools Challenge National Finals where Affies placed third. He claimed nine scalps at the 2015 Coke Week and with a few more runs under the belt this year, expect De Swardt to be a prominent feature on the scorecards.
Daniel Moriarty – Western Province
Another slow left-arm orthodox spinner on the list, Moriarty will most likely be in direct competition with De Klerk for a spot on the SA Schools team. The Rondebosch Boys’ High lad has taken heaps of wickets for his school over the past couple of seasons, bowling many a long spell of immaculate discipline. He featured in one Youth Test and ODI for the SA U19 team on their Sri Lanka tour, taking four wickets in total. He took seven wickets at an average of 13.71 with an economy rate of 2.17 at the National U17 Week in 2015. Technically still an U17 player in 2016, Moriarty will take up the mantra from leg-spinner Junaid Dawood who did so well for Western Province at last year’s Coke Week.
Compiled by Warwick Austin
Photo: Petri Oeschger/Gallo Images