Gelvandale friendship match a big hit

Gelvandale's Tyricque Burger sends down a delivery against Grey during a CSA hubs match at the Gelvandale cricket fields at the weekend. Picture: Brian Witbooi
Gelvandale’s Tyricque Burger sends down a delivery against Grey during a CSA hubs match at the Gelvandale cricket fields at the weekend. Picture: Brian Witbooi

Grey High School were the dominant force when they played Gelvandale Hub in Cricket SA (CSA) and Momentum’s partnership match to develop talent at grassroots in Gelvandale at the weekend.

Although Grey High turned out to be triumphant on the day, CSA’s mass participation manager, David Mokopanele, said results were not the most important aspect of the matches.

“These games are not about winning or losing. CSA and Momentum are hoping that the youngsters establish friendships,” he said.

“The matches … bring together teams that would not normally play against each other.”

The game was essentially the partners’ efforts at uplifting CSA’s development programme by arranging matches between Hubs and recognised cricket schools.

The northern areas side has produced the likes of former Proteas Ashwell Prince and Robin Peterson, and current national team coach Russell Domingo.

“We are putting money into programmes like this to develop talented cricketers from all walks of life,” EP Cricket president Donovan May said.

“We are bringing together people of all races and I am quite proud of it.”

Gelvandale Hub coach Robin du Plessis said it was an honour for his young cricketers to play against their Grey counterparts.

“If you ask many of these boys which school they want to attend, most of them will say Grey High School,” he said.

“To have the school here on our own field was not only an honour but a dream come true.

“These friendship matches are a great opportunity for the Gelvandale Hub team to grow and develop.

“It is such an honour for them to be able to play a sport they love on their own ground and in front of their own community and families,” Du Plessis said.

Du Plessis’s counterpart, Neil Bielby, acknowledged CSA and Momentum for developing the initiative.

“The exposure for the hub is crucial. People that are involved with cricket are aware of the hubs, but the general public don’t know much about them.

“So these friendship matches will definitely open doors,” Bielby said.

Former Proteas spinner Clive Eksteen, head of CSA’s commercial programmes, addressed the crowd before the game, saying the programme was a dream that started 1½ years ago.

The next Momentum Friendship match will be played in Bloemfontein on Friday, when Grey College hosts the Rocklands Hub.

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