KZN Cricket Club fi­nally find win­ning for­mula

The Witness - Wheels - - RACING - DAVID KNOWLES

THE Univer­sity of KwaZulu-Na­tal Cricket Club Pi­eter­mar­itzburg have been through their own tri­als and tribu­la­tions in re­cent years, but win­ning the In­land Pre­mier League this past sea­son has re­stored them to the top of the pile, thanks to do­ing the ba­sics and get­ting the right peo­ple in the right places.

A club that have seen the likes of Jonty Rhodes and cur­rent In­land crick­eters Tshep­ang Dit­hole and Ruhan Pre­to­rius in the ranks, the past sea­sons have been ones of tran­si­tion as the dy­nam­ics of the cam­pus and sport kept chang­ing. This af­fected the for­tunes of the club and from be­ing a dom­i­nant force, they had to sit and plan the right and con­struc­tive way for­ward.

Faizel Si­mon was tasked with tak­ing the club for­ward and he showed his and the club’s in­ten­tions with the ap­point­ment of Dol­phins Cubs head coach Lucky Dladla as the new coach and for­mer Transvaal player Bruce Roberts as de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer.

As a mighty trio, they be­gan res­ur­rect­ing Var­sity’s cricket for­tunes, start­ing with de­vel­op­ment ses­sions and clin­ics, get­ting play­ers into the game from grass­roots level through to se­nior club level and be­yond. With th­ese ini­tia­tives in place and grow­ing, the for­tunes of the club started chang­ing for the bet­ter, with big name play­ers once more look­ing at the club as a pos­si­ble choice to play their club cricket. One such player was Dol­phins fast bowler Craig Alexan­der.

Yashveer Singh took up the man­ager’s man­tle and with the fi­nal cog in the en­gine ready to roll, the club were in or­der and ready to make an impact. The 2014/15 sea­son saw the club fin­ish sec­ond in the Pre­mier and 1st Di­vi­sions, with the 1st Di­vi­sion play­ers win­ning their T20 league and the Pre­mier lads fin­ish­ing run­ners up to Stan­dard.

Hav­ing fin­ished sec­ond over nu­mer­ous sea­sons, the club wanted to go one bet­ter and be the top dog, their vi­sion and strate­gies pay­ing div­i­dends as they took the spoils this past sea­son. Ap­proach­ing ev­ery match with a win­ning mind­set, the Pre­mier and 1st Di­vi­sion sides pro­duced the goods early on and as the sea­son pro­gressed, it came down to the ri­valry be­tween Var­sity and Stan­dard.

At the Christ­mas break, Stan­dard had just beaten Var­sity at Peter Booy­sens and they re­peated the dose once the fes­tive sea­son had passed. Var­sity had to hope Stan­dard slipped up and that amounted to Stan­dard hav­ing to lose two matches — some­thing the strong out­fit had not suc­cumbed to in many a sea­son.

But, for­tunes change and his­tory is cre­ated as Stan­dard found to their detri­ment. Stan­dard sud­denly lost those two games and Var­sity were back in the chase for over­all hon­ours. Tough matches against Zin­gari and Mar­itzburg Cricket Club re­mained for Var­sity and once the dust had set­tled, they had won the Pre­mier Di­vi­sion by a sin­gle point.

The club were sec­ond in the 1st Di­vi­sion and both teams — Pre­mier and 1sts — made the semi-fi­nals of the T20 com­pe­ti­tion.

“We are back where we should be and putting club cricket on the map in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg again,” said Singh.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.