Nine U19 African teams are in Potchefstroom for the 2020 World Cup qualifiers.
It is all systems go in Potchefstroom, as the teams arrived for the ICC Africa Division Two qualifier tournament, which is the first step towards the 2020 ICC U19 World Cup.
Each of the teams will be hoping to leave South Africa having graduated with one of the three spots that are up for grabs to get into the first division of African junior cricket. Some of the finest emerging talent from Africa will be on display over the next week, on surfaces that are bound to be conducive to fine stroke-play. The 50-over format competition will test out every side’s full range of skills, and only the worthy will find passage into the next step of qualifiers.
‘It is very exciting now that all the teams are here, and there is a great air of anticipation for the action to begin,’ said Patricia C. Kambarami, ICC development manager for Africa.
‘This is the first step towards the 2020 World Cup, so it is terrific to think that some teams may start here and go all the way to that event, which will also be in South Africa. We have no doubt that the North West will be excellent hosts for all our players, coaches and management.’
Cricket South Africa CEO Thabang Moroe sent his wishes to the teams who are vying to join Namibia, Kenya and Uganda in Africa Division One as the journey to the U19 showpiece to be hosted in South Africa in 2020 begins.
‘This is a start of an amazing journey for these young players and with the expanded qualification process, it offers more opportunities to our fellow African members to play and compete at a higher level which can only help grow the game on the continent,’ said Moroe.
‘Playing at a World Cup, no matter what level, it is a dream for every cricketer. This is a massive opportunity for these teams and I want to wish them the best of luck for this coming week,’ he added.
West African nations, Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone will be joined by their counterparts Rwanda and Tanzania alongside Southern African teams, Botswana, Swaziland, Mozambique and Lesotho in what is set to be a competitive tournament between the hopefuls. The victorious teams from the round-robin phase will progress to the knockout stages, where the winner will advance to a four-team Qualifier Africa Division One, which is set to take place next year.
‘It’s an exciting time for cricket on our continent,’ added Kambarami. ‘We have seen a number of improvements in participation and in the quality of cricket from our African members, so to have an expanded qualification pathway is great news. These qualifiers provide the platform for these nations to showcase their talents and gauge where their development lies compared to the rest of the continent.
‘With the 2020 U19 World Cup being hosted in South Africa, we are looking forward to hosting all the nations and the efforts we undertake throughout the 10 days will go a long way in gearing us up for the global spectacle in two years’ time.’
Botswana: Phemelo Silas (captain), Muaz Arooz (vice-captain) Rod Mbaiwa (W/K), Boteng Maphosa, Cedric Batshabane, Zaidul Islam, Lawrence Ntshontsi, Boemo Khumalo, Shepherd Mothusi, Leano Maphane, Jurgens Fourie, Salman Shahul Hameed, Shaswath Rangaswamy, Katlego Mosekiemang.
Ghana: Paul Ayoleyine, Eric Amoah, Jerry Angel Gbafah, Yahaya Abdul Mumuni, Richmond Baaleri (vice-captain), Mills Yaotse, Bless Bakodie, Enoch Frimpong, Aaron Boamah, David Mario Pereira, Joseph Oko Adotei (captain), Obed Taylor, Nurudeen Mohammed, Abraham Nii Quaye.
Lesotho: Sello Solomon Mahadika (captain), Mohammed Fahed Sheth, Maliehe Enier Serongoane, Ngaka Monanthane, Adnan Mohmed Mubarak Nikoriya (vice-captain), Ts’episo David Chaoana, Katleho Emmanuel Monki, Katleho Vincent Matsau, Katleho Samuel Kampong, Ibrahim Iiyaz Tagari Makoa Marcus Mota, Ts’eliso Isdora Ralieta, Ts’epo Seliane, Mohammed Shafi Hashmani.
Mozambique: José Bulele (captain), Bernardo Adão Sambo, Gomes Frederico Gomes, Vieira Ermelindo Tembo, Alex Damião Conwana, João Jorge Huó, Bernardo Alfredo Simango, Frederico Enoque Carava, Shelton Firmino Nhavotso, Last Emílio, Lourenço Isaias Salomone, Francisco Manecas Matsolo, Lourenço Alfredo Simango, Agostinho Abilio Navicha.
Nigeria: Sylvester Ameh Okpe (captain), Sulaimon Iyiola Runsewe (vice-captain), Abdulmumuni Taiwo Mohammed, Isaac Danladi, Olayinka Elijah Olaleye, Toheeb Ishola Obisesan, Abdulrahman Adinoyi Jimoh, Peter Aho, Shehu Isiaka Audu, Segun Ogundipe, Eghosa Destiny Aghedo, Rasheed Abolarin, Samuel Mba, Ifeanyichukwu Ubohh.
Rwanda: Didier Ndikubwimana (captain), Jean Baptiste Hakizimana, MartinAkayezu, Jean Michelle Iradukunda, Damascene Hagenimana, Parfait Mugisha, Jean Pierre Rukundo, Seif Sulaiman, Dushimirimana David Nseniyaremye, Jean Claude Nganji, Yvan Shema, Thierry Manirafasha, Wilson Niyitanga, Amitie Iradukunda.
Sierra Leone: George Ngegba, John Bangura, Eric Turay, Haroun Kamara, John Lassayo, Osman Sankoh, Emmanuel Akpo, Chernoh Bah, Aruna Kainessie, Charles Kargbo, Mohamed Kainessie, Samuel Conteh, James Tommy, Edmond Ernest.
Swaziland: Wayne Holloway, Mihla Simelane, Sufiyan Patel, Muhammad Faizan, Hamza Ali, Rohan Sandeep, Sibonelelo Dlamini, Jawad Muhammad, Mohamad Hasanbhai Patel, David Sindambiwe, Abdullah Salim Bagas, Pedro Ryan, Dawood Divan, Enziwe Dlamini.
Tanzania: Baraka Laiza (captain), Dhrumit Mehta, Kartik Sayal, Abubakari Alfani, Aahil Jasani, Jay Hirwania, Salimini Saidi, Krutik Thakkar, Mohamed Sefu, Sefu Mokiwa, Gokul Das, Faraji Mrope, Abdallah Jabiri, Dhruv Pancholi.
Photo: Cricket South Africa