The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Junior Teams for SA Cricket Fest

Zimbabwe Cricket is sending two junior teams -- Under-14 and Under-17 -- to the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Week Festival starting tomorrow in South Africa.

Former Zimbabwe cricketer David Mutendera will be in charge of the Under-14 team while former Zimbabwe coach Walter Chawaguta will oversee the Under-17 side.

Mutendera confirmed to Cool Sport that everything was in order and the boys who are captained by Taun Harrison of St John's are geared to go.

"Everything is moving according to plan and the morale is high in the camp. We are departing today (Saturday) around 7am flying via Johannesburg before connecting to Cape Town.

"From Cape Town will then drive for 100km to Boland were the tournament will be played starting tomorrow till the 13th," said Mutendera.

Mutendera is bullish ahead of this festival regarding the performances displayed by the team during their warm up matches.

"I have faith in these teenagers judging from the two 20/20 warm up matches that we have played against our Under-15 national team at Old Hararians.

"I have high hopes that the youngsters will deliver their best at the festival," he said.

The team will play their first two matches against Western Province and KwaZulu-Natal before being paired according to their performance.

After being paired, they will then go on to play T20s and ODIs.

This will be the second time the Under-14 team will be representing the country in South Africa this year.

In July the team participated at the eighth Eastern Junior Club Cricket Association (EJCCA) festival which took place in Brakpan for a week.

The team played against Botswana, Swaziland and a strong South African provincial representation from Easterns and won all its six games after playing twice each.

The CSA Under-14 week is where young cricketers experience the first form of competitive cricket during primary school and it has proved to be an important stepping stone for a fruitful cricketing career for the youngsters.

On the other side, the Under-17 squad will depart on December 11 to take part in yet another schoolboy cricket week in Cape Town from December 12-16.

Zimbabwe is not new to the schoolboy cricket festivals in South Africa as they regularly get invitations to participate at the tournaments.

Started in 1986, the CSA Cricket Week is a key component of the South African board's development programme and, according to their website, "is part of a pathway from grassroots levels through to the national team and provides aspirant cricketers with an opportunity to realise their full potential."

Teams

Under-14: Manson Chikowero, Robert Chiminya, Alvin Chiradza, Graham Curtis, Alistar Frost, Taun Harrison, Munyaradzi Madhombiro, Richard Matewa, Blessed Mutandwa, Tinashe Nenhunzi, Liam Roche, Rahul Vaghmaria and Damian White.

Under-17: Edwards Byrom, Herbert Chikomba, Clive Chitumba, Kieran Geyle, Joylord Gumbie, Dylan Hondo, Luke Jongwe, Gary King, Hendrichs Macheke, Patrick Mambo, Tarisai Musakanda, Jack Myers and Campbell Saul.

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