Cricket South Africa is determined to lock in its young players until they secure senior provincial or franchise contracts.
All players who are chosen to represent South Africa at U19 level are required to sign retention contracts which remain in place until they are superseded by senior provincial or franchise contracts.
The requirement is part of a new initiative to retain identified talent from the CSA youth structures for a period until they are taken up within the senior provincial or franchise structures, says Corrie van Zyl, CSA general manager: cricket.
Seven U19 players have already been rewarded with senior provincial or franchise contracts to set them on their way to higher honours, including Wandile Makwetu (who is contracted to the Titans) and Sinethemba Qeshile (who plays for the Warriors).
‘A number of our U19 players have already been awarded franchise or senior provincial contracts,’ said Van Zyl. ‘But it is important that we have regulations in place to keep the talent, in which we have invested a great deal of our resources within the system, available for the next level of our talent pipeline such as the SA Emerging squad, South Africa A and eventually the Proteas in the long-term.’
CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe said: ‘It is a great achievement for these boys. They have shown their immense talent during the tour to England last month and with our strategy of retaining talent in mind, we wanted to recognise their importance and safeguard their development at this crucial period of their careers. This will motivate the players to stay focused on their game while ensuring that South African cricket keeps hold of the best young players within our structures.’
The other five players who have secured senior contracts are Jade de Klerk (Eastern Province), Jean du Plessis (South Western District), Kgaudise Molefe (Gauteng), Jason Niemand (Border) and Thando Ntini (Western Province).