Cricket South Africa on Friday named the 15-player squad that will represent South Africa at the ICC u19 Cricket World Cup, which will be played on home soil from 13 January to 4 February 2024.
The South African team will be captained by Central Lions’ batsman, David Teeger, who led SA u19 on a mid-year tour of Bangladesh, and who also captained the SA Emerging Team to the CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge Division Two title in October.
The line-up includes the formidable St Stithians College grade 11 trio of Lhuan-dre Pretorius, Richard Seletswane (feature photo) and Kwena Maphaka. They’re joined by Esosa Aihevba, which gives Saints an astonishing four players in the 15-man squad.
Last year’s SA Schools’ skipper Juan James also cracks the nod, while Riley Norton, who was selected for the SA Schools rugby team this year will also run out in the green and gold for the u19 cricket team.
South Africa has been drawn in Group B along with England, Scotland and the West Indies.
As part of their preparations, coach Malibongwe Maketa and his charges will gather in Durban from Friday for a week-long camp, which will include two practice matches against Zimbabwe u19, on Saturday, 9 December, and Monday, 11 December, with both being played at the Chatsworth Oval in Durban.
They will also tackle the KwaZulu-Natal u19 team on Wednesday, 13 December, at the same venue.
Commenting on the selections, SA u19 Convenor of Selectors, Patrick Moroney, said: “I extend my congratulations to each player who has secured a sport in the World Cup squad; their inclusion is well-deserved.
“This group of young cricketers has demonstrated exceptional abilities and potential. We have full confidence in their capabilities and are excited to see them compete at the highest level, especially with the added pride of playing in front of a home crowd.
“We had initially selected three spinners in the provisional 18-player squad in anticipation of the sub-continent conditions in Sri Lanka. But with the tournament now taking place in South Africa and the change in conditions, we have named two specialist spinners and extra cover within our fast-bowling group.
“I would like to wish the players and the support staff well for the tournament, and I anticipate an exciting World Cup campaign.”
CSA Director of Cricket, Enoch Nkwe, commented: “After months of hard work, we are pleased to see such a well-rounded squad that will represent South Africa at the World Cup.
“The quality of this group shows the amount of work that is going on behind the scenes through the CSA pipeline, and I have no doubt they will do us proud next year.”
SA U19 SQUAD
David Teeger (Lions, captain), Esosa Aihevba (Lions), Juan James (Western Province), Martin Khumalo (Easterns), Kwena Maphaka (Lions), Dewan Marais (Easterns), Riley Norton (Boland), Nqobani Mokoena (KZN Coastal), Romashan Pillay (KZN Coastal), Sipho Potsane (Lions), Lhuan-dre Pretorius (Lions), Richard Seletswane (Lions), Oliver Whitehead (Western Province), Steve Stolk (Titans), Ntando Zuma (KZN Inland)