Streak academy sends 3 teams to SA T20 series
THREE teams from the Old Mutual Heath Streak Cricket Academy are set to embark on an inaugural tour of South Africa from December 10-17 in a move touted to help identify future national team stars.
Joseph Rego, chief executive officer and executive director of the Old Mutual Heath Streak Cricket Academy told Chronicle Sport that the Under-13 A, Under-13 B and Under -14 teams were gearing up for a tough challenge against the Rowlin National Cricket Academy, one of Gauteng’s leading cricket academies in Bokburg affiliated to Cricket South Africa.
The teams would be involved in five T20 series and Rego said he had no doubts most youngsters they will take on tour will be ripe for the international stage in five years time.
“It will be a tough series, but our boys have the potential to win,” said Rego. The Academy’s Under-14 Fazak Zimbabwe side won the Raj Modi Heath Streak Academy T20 Africa Cup inaugural edition by defeating Rowlin National Cricket Academy and Professional Cricket Academy of Botswana in the semi-finals and final at the Academy’s ground in Suburbs, Bulawayo.
“The teams and coaches are brimming with confidence and enthusiasm. We’ll emerge victorious,” said Rego, who is leaving no stone unturned to make the academy’s inaugural international tour a remembrance of a life time.
He said Tuskers cricketers Boxie Mxolisi Dube will be head coach of Under-13 A, Thabo Mkhululi Mboyi the Under-13 B, while Harare coach and Academy administrator Shaun Joseph will be in charge of the Under-14 team for the December tour.
Co-founder of the academy Heath Streak is presently in the country and Rego revealed that the former national team paceman and skipper had been personally monitoring performances of the youngsters and is also playing a crucial role in the selection process.
The academy’s boss heaped praises on Streak, saying he had played a sensational coaching role in the rise of Bangladeshi cricket.
Under Streak, Bangladesh defeated England, Afghanistan and Scotland to reach the quarter-finals of the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup. Streak also led the Tigers to the semi-finals of the ICC Asia Cup, which they hosted in 2015, defeating the United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
He also led them to comfortable victories over Oman and The Netherlands in the 2016 ICC T20 World Cup.
In March 2015, Streak’s Tigers whitewashed Pakistan 3-0 in an ODI series, beat India 2-1 in a bilateral series and defeated South Africa 2-1 in an ODI series.
Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe 3-0 in an ODI and drew 1-1 in a T20 home series.
Streak also led Bangladesh to a convincing 5-0 ODI and 3-0 Test series whitewash of Zimbabwe in 2014.
‘‘At the IPL held in March 2016 in India, Streak’s phenomenal coaching skills ensured Gujarat Lions a berth in the play-offs.
‘‘He is undoubtedly one of the best coaches in the world today,” said Rego, who has been Streak’s sports agent from his playing days.
He said a dedicated parent Violet Mudenda, who plays a prominent role at the academy, will be the tour’s brand ambassador and member of the organising committee.
Mudenda has played a key role in coordinating parents regarding the tour on behalf of the academy.
Joseph Rego with patron of the Old Mutual Heath Streak Cricket Academy, VP Emmerson Mnangagwa