The University of the Western Cape (UWC) named their 2018 varsity cup cricket squad on Wednesday, January 24, at the University of the Western Cape Cricket Oval. The squad was announced by the coach Chezley Fortuin after a warm up game where UWC played against the University of Cape Town (UCT) whereby, UWC lost by 8 runs. From the probable squad of 15 listed in the previous article, only four players were not selected into the final squad of 14. The players who made the probable 15 but were not selected in the final 14 are, Rowan Dirk, Reuben Fortune, Zain Allie and Rowan Abdol. The players who did not make the probable 15 but were selected in the final 14 are Quintin Dryer, Myron Carolus and Axola Ngwana. Luke Philander also missed out on leading the team in this year’s varsity cup. Instead, Fortuin decided to name Philander as the deputy of Lizaad Williams, who is the most experienced player in the squad. Williams has represented UWC for the Cobras and played varsity cup since its launch in 2015.
Williams will lead a talented team, which in my opinion’s strength lies in his bowling. However, from experience it is important for the players to play the tournaments as a team and it is everyone’s duty to contribute positively within the cricket boundary. Their contributions should be in the form of being enthusiastic in the field, scoring runs, fielding well and bowling according to plan. With Williams as captain, this team is in good hands and with the preparation the team had, the only outcome should be a team participating in a tournament with full of confidence.
What stands out in this year’s varsity cup squad is UWC cricket’s Assistance coach Shandre Fritz, former South Africa national woman’s cricketer. Fritz is going to be the first female coach attached to the male side to be part of a varsity cup squad. This is a great initiative and it is important for more teams to realise the importance of promoting female coaches in sport in general to balance social inequalities. With this initiative, for me, UWC should be crowned as champions regardless of the results they are going to achieve in the tournament.
UWC is a complete team in terms of talent and it is up to the team to win the competition. However, it is important for the boys to make use of the opportunity given to them. Not everyone gets the same opportunity twice. Enjoyment and staying positive within the week will bring positive results. It is good to see a female coach in the mix as well. My hope is that many more female coaches will start getting involved in men’s cricket and get exposed on these platforms. The tournament will be played from the 29th of January 2018 till the 3rd of February 2018 at the University of Potchefstroom.
2018 Varsity cup squad:
Lizaad Williams (Captain), Luke Philander (Vice Captain), Myron Carolus, Dawood Christians, Quintin Dreyer, Aaqil Ebrahim, Jean Heunis, Thandani Majebe, Sabir Mallie, Axola Ngwana, Emmanuel Seberame, Warren Stoman, Mujaahid Toffar and Karl Vermeulen.
Andrew Greenwood (Manager)
Chezley Fortuin (Coach)
Shandre Fritz (Assistant coach)
Ghaleel Achmat (Biokineticist)