THE best up and coming cricketers in South Africa will come together in Pretoria from 17-22 December for the Coca-Cola Khaya Majola Under-19 Week.
This Week is Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) top cricket development programme and one of the biggest influences in the CSA development pipeline.
Coke Week is seen as a major stepping stone to a young cricketer’s career.
It is the first phase that many young men will go through in their quest for the ultimate dream of wearing the Castle Lager Proteas jersey someday.
Most of the members of the current Proteas squad took part in this Week. Of all the national cricket weeks held by CSA, this is by far, the most important. Talent scouts from various provinces, franchises and universities watch the U19 Week to identify the most promising players of the bunch.
Proteas new additions that have participated in the tournament include Quinton de Kock, Rilee Rossouw, Reeza Hendricks and most recently, Kagiso Rabada, who represented Gauteng just last year.
Current and former Proteas such as AB de Villiers (Proteas ODI), Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Makhaya Ntini, Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie got their first taste of truly competitive cricket in this tournament.
Wayne Parnell took part in three Coke Week tournaments and went on to captain the SA U19 team in the 2008 ICC U19 World Cup. He received his Proteas call-up just a year later. He is now the official Coca-Cola Khaya Majola U19 Week ambassador and urges players to hold nothing back when they set foot on the pitch. He wished all the players well ahead of this year’s games.
“All the best to the cricketers taking part in the annual Coca-Cola Khaya Majola week,” he commented. “This week continues to produce quality cricketers and I’m sure this year will be no different. Only recently we have seen Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada make their Proteas debuts, both are products from this week, which shows that this is where future stars
continue to be developed. This is the best platform to test your skills, make friends and more importantly, to have fun.” Kagiso Rabada reflected on his time playing the Week.
“The Coca-Cola Khaya Majola week was a great tournament for me to play in,” he said. “The level of competition, skill and talent is extremely high. The week gives you an indication of where you are in comparison to the other players in the country. “Not only is the week full of strong competition on the field, it’s also full of friendship – something that can last a lifetime. You meet new people and interact with players of different races and languages, this is how you grow as a player too. I made many memories both on the field and off the field and learnt a lot of values of playing as a team, values of hard work and leadership skills.”