Cape Town - Highveld Lions rookie Wiaan Mulder will captain the South Africa under-19s in a 10-match Youth One-Day International (ODI) triangular series against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe from January 14-28, as well as a separate three-match Youth ODI series against Sri Lanka from February 1-5.
The announcement was made at the closing function of the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Franchise Cubs Week in Stellenbosch on Sunday evening.
The triangular series will be split between four venues in Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Paarl, while the last three ODIs against Sri Lanka will take place in Oudtshoorn.
Coach Lawrence Mahatlane is pleased with the team selected and believes that they are the best picks for the conditions and the opposition that will be faced. He is excited to see what Mulder will bring to the side after he completes the first match of the second round of the Sunfoil Series for the senior Highveld Lions in Oudtshoorn.
Mahatlane is also pleased that Lutho Sipamla, also named in the squad, missed the Cubs Week due a call-up to play Eastern Province in the CSA One-Day Challenge. He believes that the exposure the two will be getting at a higher level will provide great value to the team during the series.
“It’s an exciting group of players,” he said. “I think the difficulty in selecting the team shows the quality of cricket that has been on show this week. It was tough to pick the side, but I think we’ve got the right balance from a long term and a short term point of view.
“It’s important to note that we weren’t just looking at performances this week but how the guys have done throughout the year and how we believe they will perform against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. I’m very excited to have Wiaan Mulder back as our captain, there was a possibility of leaving Wiaan out of the team and giving a younger guy an opportunity, but the experience that he will bring to the setup from playing for the Lions is going to be invaluable to our side.”
Mulder is delighted to once again be called up to captain the SA U19s.
“At this age, it’s definitely the pinnacle and to get another nod from Cricket South Africa to lead the team is a massive honour,” he said. “This is going to be a tough tour, but I’m really excited to get the tour started with a team that I know is equally as keen as I am to play for their country.”
Convenor of selectors Victor Mpitsang is pleased that the tournament has produced another group of players that he believes can and will compete positively against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.
“We’re not just looking in the short term with this team, we’re already thinking about the next World Cup and what I’m most happy about is that most of the guys selected also qualify for 2018,” he said. “That being said, I am really happy with the balance of the side and I think that we have a winning combination in our hands.”
Coca-Cola South Africa under-19 squad
Wiaan Mulder (Highveld Lions), Matthew Breetzke (Warriors), Jesse Christensen (Cape Cobras), Michael Cohan (Cape Cobras), Jade de Klerk (Warriors), Ruan de Swardt (Titans), Siphamandla Kwreqe (Warriors), Wandile Makwetu (Highveld Lions), Mohammed Mayet (Highveld Lions), Akhona Mnyaka (Warriors), Jason Niemand (Waariors), Lutho Sipamla (Warriors), Keenan Smith (Warriors), Mitchell van Buuren (Highveld Lions), Raynard van Tonder (Knights)
Lawrence Mahatlane (head coach), Wandile Gwavu (assistant coach), Henry Williams (Bowling Coach), Robin Peterson (Technical Consultant), Riaan Osman (Manager), Lizahn Naude (Physiotherapist), Sipokazi Sokanyile (media liaison), Hendrikus Coertzen (video analyst)