SA’s 16-man U19 squad to tour Sri Lanka in June/July will be led by all-rounder Wiaan Mulder.
The tour, from 25 June to 13 July, will see the sides play two Youth Tests as well as three ODIs. The side will see some exciting changes as 14 players will make their debut.
Coach, Lawrence Mahatlane believes that this is a good opportunity for players who had previously just missed out on selection to show what they are made of and to prove themselves. Mahatlane is looking forward to mining fresh talent and preparing for the new cycle of the U19 programme.
‘It’s the start of a new cycle and we’re looking forward to starting afresh with exciting new talents. We have a really good mixture of youngsters and some experienced campaigners who would have previously only just missed out on a chance to make the side. It’s true that there are some injuries that are keeping some of our more experienced players from touring, but this gives an opportunity for new players to show us what they’re made of.
‘It’s always good to tour the subcontinent and expose our players to conditions that they would not otherwise play in. The Test series especially is going to be really exciting, I think this will be a good growth-opportunity for the players under the leadership of Wiaan Mulder. He has a lot of experience and good knowledge of the game to offer the youngsters. I look forward to seeing him captain the side and leading from the front.’
Mulder, who was named Player of the Tournament as he led St Stithians to the Coca Cola Schools T20 Challenge in March, is excited and humbled to be named captain.
‘I know a lot of people say this, but this is a dream come true,’ he said. ‘I’m really excited and feel extremely privileged to be selected for the team firstly, and second, to be given the job of captaining the team. I don’t take this opportunity lightly and I’m excited to get to Sri Lanka and play good cricket.’
Mulder was part of the team that took part in the ICC U19 World Cup. He is keen to take the lessons from the tournament and implement them with this new group.
‘We learned a lot of things in Bangladesh, it was a tough tour, but that’s gone and we have new and exciting challenges ahead of us. Playing Test cricket at this age is a huge privilege, even if it is the four-day version, and I want to take this team forward and leave the game in a better place than I found it,’ he concluded.
The team depart for Colombo on 17 June. They will gather for a training camp beforehand.
SA U19 team to Sri Lanka
Wiaan Mulder (capt, Gauteng), Eathan Bosch (KZN Inland), Jerome Bossr (KZN), Jesse Christensen (Western Province), Jade de Klerk (Eastern Province), Wandile Makwetu (Gauteng), Akhona Mnyaka (Border), Daniel Moriarty (Western Province), Vezokuhle Mtungwa (Boland), William Sendin (Boland), Kenan Smith (Eastern Province), Siphamandla Krweque (Border), *Jashua van Heerden (Northerns), Reinhard van Tonder (Free State), Ricardo Vasconceles (Boland), *Mitchell van Buuren (Gauteng).
*Van Buuren replaces van Heerden for the ODI series.