Wesley Madhevere will captain St Charles College of Pietermaritzburg at the Schools T20 national finals… and he will be the most experienced cricketer on show there, writes THEO GARRUN.
St Charles will represent the Dolphins Franchise at the tournament at TUKS in Pretoria from 15-17 March. They won the KwaZulu-Natal Inland provincial championships and then accounted for their KZN Coastal counterparts, Westville Boys’ High, to take the franchise title.
Wesley has played for Zimbabwe U19 in no fewer than two ICC U19 World Cup tournaments, in Bangladesh in 2016 and in New Zealand last year. He won three Man of the Match awards in New Zealand and was the top-ranked all-rounder at the tournament. He will still be eligible to pay in the 2020 competition in South Africa, and is in the preliminary squad for that tournament.
His focus at the moment, though, is on St Charles, and SACricketmag.com caught up with him at the Independent Schools Festival in Pretoria this week.
‘We’ve had a great season so far,’ he said. ‘We are unbeaten this summer, and of course we won the KZN Inland and Dolphins T20 titles.’
Their ‘proper’ cricket wins included victories over all their KZN main rivals, including Hilton, Michaelhouse, Maritzburg College, DHS, Northwood and Glenwood.
‘We have a balanced side and the batsmen and bowlers have been performing,’ he added, and he himself has been contributing with bat and ball.
‘I’ve made around five 50s so far, and averaged 60 at the Michaelmas Week last year.’
He doesn’t really count wickets, he admits, but knows he has taken quite a few with his off-spinners. St Charles did reach the Dolphins franchise final once before, but were eliminated at that stage, so going to the Coke finals week is new territory for them.
‘We are making history for the school, and obviously we want to go all the way now and win the title,’ he said. ‘It won’t be easy, the best schools in the country will be there, and we will be playing against teams we haven’t met before. I’m really looking forward to the challenge.’
As for his future, Wesley’s immediate aim is the 2020 World Cup and doing well for Zimbabwe there. Then he plans to do a post-matric year at a school in Australia next year and play a bit of cricket there.
‘We’ll see what happens then,’ he said, ‘but cricket is definitely in my plans.’
Photo: Theo Garrun