SA Emerging head coach Malibongwe Maketa says competing in this season’s Division 2 One-Day Cup will grow South African cricket’s talent pool.
SA Emerging will play their first match of the tournament against the Free State Knights in Bloemfontein on Monday.
“I believe it’s essential for us, as Cricket South Africa, to continually emphasise the importance of nurturing young talent within Division 2 teams and ensure that our younger players have increased opportunities to participate in this Division over time,” said Maketa.
“It will also offer an opportunity for our younger players to gain valuable match experience and ultimately expand the talent pool within our domestic structures.”
The SA Emerging team will be made up of players aged 18-23 across CSA’s development properties, including SA U19 players as well as National Academy and high-performance contracted players from Division 2 teams.
“We’ve made sure to focus on younger players, who we feel that in two seasons from now, will be playing in Division 1,” added Maketa.
“We have selected a few U19 players that will be competing in next year’s U19 World Cup in Sri Lanka. We felt it was important to expose them to playing under pressure against good opposition because that is what they are going to experience at the World Cup.
“We have also selected a few guys who are part of the National Academy, and I am looking forward to seeing how they implement the skills they learned during the winter camps to match situations.
“Our team composition will vary from game to game, on account of some guys writing exams, which will pose a minor challenge in terms of building momentum and getting the guys to learn as quickly as I would like.
“However, I am aiming to establish a core group of six players who will uphold the team’s values, and I hope that this will ultimately lead to positive results in the competition.”
Maketa will be joined by former Proteas batting coach Justin Sammons and former Proteas spinner Paul Adams.