Charlton bats for semi-pros
Mark Charlton (above) has been promoted to high performance manager for the Titans, having won four trophies in the last three years with the Northerns team, and he says the rapid progress of players who have spent time in the amateur provincial competitions shows how important the second tier of domestic cricket is for the pipeline.
He was understandably delighted with the recent news that Cricket South Africa CEO Haroon Lorgat had said they were aiming to uplift the semi-professional level rather than create a seventh franchise.
“If you look at the senior provincial teams and what they do in the South African landscape, it’s a brilliant job. Guys like Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen spent four seasons with me at Northerns and then after one franchise season they’re on the verge of the national squad. A guy like Lungi Ngidi spent one-anda-half seasons with me, one-anda-half with the Titans and then made the national team. Tabraiz Shamsi is another guy who played a lot of semi-pro cricket, there are a lot of guys like that.
“The profile of that level needs to be lifted, the Africa Cup has been brilliant in that respect, we need to raise the level of their exposure. So it’s great news if CSA back that, because the second tier produces some really hard, tough cricket. We (Northerns) tested ourselves against Leicestershire recently, with just nine of our regular players and we beat them, plus we’ve beaten the whole Ireland team before. So the standard is pretty good and we do our job when it comes to producing players,” Charlton told The Citizen.