Search starts for next Parnell
Cape Town – The hunt for the next Wayne Parnell starts next month when the South African Under-19 team takes part in the World Cup tournament in New Zealand.
South African Schools, Academy and Under-19 teams were selected on Wednesday night after the Khaya Majola Cricket Week in Benoni.
Parnell was the Under-19 Proteas’ captain when they lost to India in the final of the World Cup tournament in Malaysia two years ago.
Shafiek Abrahams, a former national team spinner and the current chairperson of the Under-19 selectors, expressed confidence on Thursday that the team will perform well in New Zealand.
“The first priority at this level is not to win the tournament. We want to produce players that can play for South Africa in the future. That is our first job,” said Abrahams.
“We also want to create opportunities for players. There are only six franchises in South African cricket these days and this tournament is an opportunity for young players to possibly convince one of the franchises they are worthy of a contract.”
The team that reached the final in 2008 is a perfect example.
Parnell, who has become a key player in the Proteas’ ODI and Twenty20 sides, was an obvious success story. A number of the top performers have also subsequently made their mark.
Rilee Rossouw and Reeza Hendricks are key batsmen for the Eagles, while Jon-Jon Smuts (Warriors) and Pieter Malan (Titans) regularly play for their regional teams.
“I don’t like singling out players, but we have a number of stars for the future. Colin Ackerman has scored a lot of runs over the past few months while Lions spinner Dale Deeb is also showing a lot of promise,” said Abrahams.
Former Proteas coach Ray Jennings will coach the Under-19 side in New Zealand.
The teams are:
Josh Richards (captain), Samuel Mofokeng, David White, Colin Ackerman, Matthew Kennedy, Simon Khomari, Stephan Smit, Bokang Mosena, Dale Deeb, Graham Hume, Malcolm Nofal, Dominic Hendricks, Cody Chetty, Rabian Engelbrecht, Jerry Ngolo.
Josh Richards (captain), Mujahiid Behardiend, Andre Malan, Matthew Hullet, David White, Malcolm Nofal, Bokang Mosena, Calvin Savage, Siyabulela Simetu, Sammy Mofokeng, Itumeleng Moseke