Pretoria - Hosting Cricket SA's National Academy at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria is all about creating sustainable careers for the nation's emerging talent, academy coach Shukri Conrad has said on Monday.
The training programme, where 18 young men, and 10 players involved in the senior national women's side will be put through their paces, runs until August 28.
"It's important to understand where the academy fits in. It's to ensure these players have a long career, instead of coming in and out of the system," said Conrad at the University of Pretoria where both the women and men were training on Monday.
"We can provide them with the necessary tools to cope with the arduous demands of being franchise players."
With the women's side aiming to build on making it to the semifinal stage of the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh earlier this year, and the young players on the men's side aiming to make their mark at franchise level, the academy would help nurture the cricketers.
"With some of the young guys there are going to be a lot of expectations.
"It's critical we make everyone understand the player, the media and the career path they take."
Women's Proteas coach Hilton Moreeng said the academy would help the women improve greatly.
"It's the first time the women's side has had an academy," he said.
"We've brought our contracted players along with a couple of youngsters to be able to make sure we can build for the future."
Combining with the men, it would be even more effective for the women.
"It will run parallel with the men's academy, so it will help the women to learn from each other and feed off the men.
"It will definitely help us become a better cricketing nation as far the women are concerned."