The Mini Cricket Kids put on an excellent display to thrash the Proteas with eight balls to spare at Northdene Preparatory School.
In front of hundreds of cheering schoolmates, the Mini Cricket Kids, representing their schools in Durban, were dominant against the Proteas.
Boasting the likes of Vernon Philander, Stephen Cook and Lungi Ngidi among others, the Proteas were sent into bat first, and were bamboozled by a crafty mix of pace and leg spin as they set the kids 47 runs for victory off their eight overs.
The kids peeled off the winning runs with ease, making it 2-1 to the Proteas with a chance to draw the tour level in the final leg in the Eastern Cape.
Khaya Zondo, who’s just come off the back of a superb season with the Dolphins in the Sunfoil Series, is clearly a bad omen when it comes to playing Mini Cricket for the Proteas.
‘This is the second one I’ve played and I’ve lost both. I’m kind of tired of losing, but they’re actually really good,’ he said.
‘To meet guys at the top after watching them play on TV, and to actually then play against them, gives you so much motivation to play the game.’
Philander, currently eyeing a return to the ODI side for the Proteas, played Mini Cricket back in the day and believes that the chance for the kids to meet their heroes such as himself is what inspires them to keep playing the game.
‘I used to play a bit when I was young and hit a couple of balls over the fence and ran some 22s,’ he laughed. ‘This is how it all started for me and it’s wonderful to get the opportunity to give back.
‘It’s a really great initiative by KFC. At their age it’s all about enjoyment and staying healthy and getting active. These children are inspired by us and look up to us and it’s great for them to get the chance to interact with us.’
KFC Mini Cricket is the largest grassroots sports programme in the country and KFC have been on board since 2010, playing their part in getting over 114 000 kids active from over 5 500 schools, comprising nearly 9 000 volunteers.
Mfuneko Ngam, an assistant coach for the kids on the day, has been working tirelessly as head coach at a CSA national hub at Fort Hare for a number of years now. He’s overseen the development and progress of emerging first-class players such as Knights fast bowler Mbulelo Budaza and Warriors batsman Somila Seyibokwe.
‘It was a beautiful day today. The kids won, but it’s not all about cricket, it’s about getting these kids active and inspiring them.
‘That’s what happened to me when I was young. Allan Donald came to one of my training sessions and I was inspired to play because of him and then modelled my action on him. The kids here are getting autographs signed by all the players, and it’s a huge motivation for them to carry on playing.’
Photo: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images