The Eastern Province cricket season kicks off on Thursday with the Makhanda Cricket Festival, an annual event co-hosted by St Andrew’s College, Kingswood College, and Graeme College.
The festival continues a rich feast of cricket for Makhanda, following on from the 2023 Coca-Cola Khaya Majola Week, which took place in December, when the Central Gauteng Lions were crowned the champions.
Peterhouse School and Hellenic Academy have made the long trip from Zimbabwe and will face St Andrew’s and Kingswood respectively in their first outings.
Before the event begins for the other schools, Peterhouse takes on St Andrew’s in a two-day clash, starting on Wednesday.
St Andrew’s will be without their three provincial representatives from last year. Matriculants Sibusiso Mxube, Matthew Poole and Matthew Beamish represented College in the Eastern Province team at the Khaya Majola Week on home soil. Mxube subsequently earned himself a place in the Eastern Warriors team for the recently concluded CSA Cubs Week and helped the side to a third-place finish.
At last year’s Makhanda fest, Beamish made his intentions for 2023 clear by scoring two centuries in successive days. His younger brother, William, who was selected for the EP u16 side last year, will seek to emulate that success with St Andrew’s hosting the tournament this year.
Graeme College have lost their long-serving stalwart Aphiwe Mnyanda, who represented EP u19 for three consecutive years before matriculating in 2023.
Trinityhouse High School, will defend Gauteng’s strong reputation in Makhanda. They start their campaign against Graeme College on the opening day, followed by matches against Hudson Park and Kingswood College.
The games begin at 09:00 each day. All of them will be declaration matches, apart from Saturday, when teams may decide to play limited overs fixtures.
Thursday, 11 January (Time cricket)
St Andrew’s College vs Peterhouse School (Lower field) – (Two-day match)
Kingswood College vs Hellenic Academy (City Lords)
Graeme College vs Trinityhouse High School (Somerset)
Dale College vs Muir College (Knowling Field)
Hudson Park vs Woodridge College (Marais Field)
Friday, 12 January (Time cricket)
St Andrew’s College vs Muir College (Lower Field)
Kingswood College vs Peterhouse School (City Lords)
Graeme College vs Hellenic Academy (Somerset)
Woodridge College vs Dale College (Marais Field)
Hudson Park vs Trinityhouse High School (Knowling Field)
Saturday, 13 January (Mixed formats, teams decide)
St Andrew’s College vs Dale College (Lower Field)
Kingswood College vs Trinityhouse High School (City Lords)
Graeme College vs Peterhouse School (Somerset)
Woodridge College vs Muir College (Knowling Field)
Hellenic Academy vs Hudson Park (Marais Field)