CRICKET South Africa’s manager of schools cricket Niels Momberg has been to just about every youth cricket tournament since 1991 and he is quite prepared to say that the 2012 Coca-Cola Khaya Majola Week currently under way in Potchefstroom has been the best he has ever been to.
“The talent on show has been fantastic,” he says, “but then it usually is. What has been even more noticeable has been the passion with which the local organisers have tackled the task and how, with the generous support of the sponsors Coca-Cola, they have put on a show that the 250-odd players that were here will never forget.”
Momberg believes Potchefstroom is the ideal venue for a tournament like this. “The grounds are all in close proximity and the wickets and outfields are all great,” he says. “We have been lucky with the weather as well, all of which makes for great cricket.”
Momberg has been impressed with what he has seen on the field. “There has been some excellent batting, and there are more than enough good quick bowlers. All in all, I think there has been more good talent on show here than there has been at the last few weeks.”
There is also enough evidence that CSA’s transformation plans are on track. “The pleasing thing is that the players of colour are all playing important roles within their teams. I think we have moved beyond the stage where we have to monitor provinces to check that they have met the requisite targets, and that they are playing everyone enough during the week.”
Then there has been the success story of Border at this week. They are largely a black side, and they won their first four games on the trot.
The challenge going forward, Momberg says, is to continue growing the number of cricket-playing schools and, in particular, re-introducing the game at schools where it has been discontinued.
“The 2012 Coca-Cola Khaya Majola Week has shown that a lot of people have been doing a lot of things right, I am more than happy with what I have seen in Potch this week,”he concludes.