The SA20 tournament has taken South Africa by storm. The opening matches at Newlands and Kingsmead this week were played in front of full stadiums. These are crowds not seen since the 2003 ICC World Cup.
Fourteen young cricket players from Ukhanyo and Masi High, as well as three coaches/educators, attended the Newlands match and were able to absorb and enjoy the noisy and colourful spectacle. It was the first time most of these learners had witnessed an important top-quality match. They simply loved it.
“It was fabulous,” said under16 WP girls cricketer Zintle Dzidzi. “Watching with Vince and coach Nolan I learnt so much about tactics, bowling and technique. It was a blast as well. So much excitement.”
The match was a superb high-quality encounter between the MI Cape Town and the Paarl Royals. There was loud music, dancing, singing and yes, some cricket! Jofra Archer, Duan Jansen and Olly Stone blew them away with their seemingly effortless play and they learnt lessons of field placing, length, variation and consistency. A few were mesmerised by the spinners. Dewald Brevis’s innings were the highlight.
The children just glowed with excitement. It was T20 cricket at its best. The competitive nature of the game, with five International captains on the field, was intense.
Having seven girls in attendance showed the increasing popularity of cricket among girls in Masi. MasiSports wants to build two girls’ teams in each school. It is a work in progress.
It was a night to remember and the positive effects of seeing cricket live in a packed stadium will be spread across both Masi schools. Thank you Jacques and Selwyn for giving us all such a wonderful adventure.