FUTURE Proteas get the opportunity to showcase their talent this month when the interprovincial cricket tournament in various age groups gets under way around the country.
The u-11 and u-13 tournaments will be played in Port Elizabeth. The teams are mainly made up of young cricketers from around the city as well as one or two from Grahamstown and Uitenhage.
More than 120 youngsters from Eastern Province, South Western Districts, Griquas and Kei will play in the tournament from December 12 to 15 at Grey High and Junior, Gelvandale Cricket Club, Summerwood and Pearson.
The tournament has been going on for more than 20 years with some of the Warriors players coming up through the various teams.
Games will be played between 9am and 4pm daily.
Each team will play six matches including a T20 on the last day.
The u-13s will play 50 overs and the u-11s 40 overs.
This is the first time that Eastern Province has hosted these age groups.
The u-13As are travelling to East London, the u-15s to Benoni, the u-17s to Bloemfontein, the u19s to Cape Town while the girls will be heading off to Kimberley.
Under-13A vice-captain Nicholas Zimmerman from Graham College in Grahamstown believes his team is ready and will make the province proud.
“We have a good team so we should do well,” said the lefthand batsman who comes in at number 5.
With a highest score of 122 not out, Nicholas intends scoring lots of runs during the five-day tournament in East London.
“We have been practising hard for the last two months and I feel we are ready,” he said.
Right-hand off-spin bowler Adrian Leibbrandt from Muir College in Uitenhage is aiming to take at least 15 wickets during the six games.
“I have been bowling a lot of balls in the nets so I hope I am ready. My goal is to win all six games and the tournament.”
Under 13A coach Wandile Gwavu said the team is well-balanced and there is a good team spirit.
The 22-year-old coach was in the EP academy until 2008 and started coaching in 2009.
Gwavu believes the team has a strong batting lineup that can get them the results they are looking for.
“We have nine batters this year instead of six last year, which was the main concern.”
Team manager Ahdiel Salie, said the top six batters were in form, having scored several hundreds this season in their school fixtures.
“We also have a good bowling attack so the mood in the team is good,” said Gwavu.
He added they are looking forward to the warm-up tournaments to gauge their strengths and weaknesses. The teams are leaving today to take part in a warm-up tournament in Bloemfontein this weekend.