POTCHEFSTROOM– In the 34 years that the Coca-Cola Khaya Majola Week has been going it has been staged in every major cricketing centre in the land and the playing conditions have been as varied as the cities they were played in.
Last year’s crop of future stars had to endure the grassless wickets and dusty outfields of the Western Cape winter rainfall region, and next year’s crop will be toiling away in the December heat and humidity, and on the lush outfields of the KwaZulu-Natal coastal region.
In between the two, the class of 2012 probably don’t realise how blessed they are to be playing in the largely unheralded cricketing jewel that is Potchefstroom.
Sunday’s opening matches were played in near perfect conditions – 28 degrees under a cloudless sky, with a cooling breeze – and you will struggle to find better grounds than those being used this week.
The tournament in centred at Senwes Park, the headquarters of North West Cricket, which is surrounded by three North West University fields – each one better than the next – true wickets and lighting fast outfields, where fielders can show their athleticism without fear of leaving too much skin behind.
That’s not always the case as the Coca-Cola Khaya Majola Week makes its round throughout the country. As the week progresses the conditions are only going to get better and one thing that’s for sure is that there are going to be plenty of runs scored in Potchefstroom this week.
Bazil Clarke, manager of professional cricket at the North West Union, and vice chair of the local organising committee, says that there are a number of factors that make Potch an ideal venue for a week like this. “The furthest ground is no more than five minutes away from the nerve centre at Senwes Park,” he says. “So we have been able to bring all the teams in for a proper sit down lunch each day,” he says, “and we are fortunate to have the University with its excellent facilities right here. But it’s taken a lot of hard work to get all the facilities into such excellent shape. We have been at work since January on the organisation, and the ground staff have been toiling away for months to make sure we put on a great show. I’m sure that as the week progresses the players and spectators are going to see great cricket in ideal conditions.”