SA U19 coach, Lawrence Mahatlane, is looking forward to facing world champions, West Indies, in their five-match Youth ODI series.
The series is scheduled for later this month. and the two sides will compete in Pietermaritzburg and Chatsworth from 9 July. The squad assembled in Durban and have two warm-up games under their belt, while their opponents will arrive on Saturday.
‘It’s an exciting time for the team after finally getting together,’ Mahatlane said.
‘The squad was selected two months ago, but everyone was preparing in different parts of the country and readying themselves in different ways.
‘Now we’re all together and the first few days have helped the boys get rid of some cobwebs. Preparations are now at full throttle and we’re looking forward to a great series against the world champions.’
The Windies, who won the ICC U19 World Cup for the first time in their history last year by beating India in the final in Mirpur, Bangladesh.
Despite his excitement, the SA coach admits that his side is still finding their feet. Mahatlane’s men lost both their warm-up games to a KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union (KZNCU) Academy side, but the coach believes the games provided good experience for his side.
‘We’ve had two prep games thanks to KZN Cricket for organising their Academy side to play against us,’ he added.
‘All three skills at times, during these two games, came out. We batted very well on the first day, but just didn’t bowl well enough and got punished for it. Then in the second game, the bowling improved, but unfortunately, the batting just didn’t click.
‘We still have time and I think the guys are really working hard and are understanding their roles in the side, so we’re looking forward to the added preparation ahead of the series.’
They have two more preparation games on Tuesday and Thursday before their ODI series kicks off.
South Africa U19 team:
Raynard van Tonder (Free State), Matthew Breetzke (Eastern Province), Curtis Campher (Gauteng), Jesse Christensen (Western Province), Gerald Coetzee (Free State), Jade de Klerk (Eastern Province), Fraser Jones (KZN Inland), Wandile Makwetu (Gauteng), Andile Mokgakane (KZN Coastal), Kgaudise Molefe (Gauteng), Jacob Miltz (Gauteng), Thando Ntini (Western Province), Jiveshan Pillay (Northerns), Herman Rolfes (Northerns), Keenan Smith (Eastern Province).