With alumni such as Simon Harmer, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson and Proteas coach Russell Domingo and assistant coach Adrian Birrell, the Madibaz cricket club is proving to be a platform from which talented players are launching their provincial and national careers. Madibaz head coach Baakier Abrahams says: ‘We have a wonderful structure in place.’ The club’s performances of late, which include a seventh straight premier league title for the first eleven this season, with the second team finishing runners-up in the same competition, bears testimony to this.
The league title has once again secured the team a place at the national club champs in Pretoria later this month and they will be hoping to extend their local success to the national realm after being beaten in the final the last two years. Abrahams: ‘We will be playing against all the local league winners from across the country and this creates an amazing strength-versus-strength tournament to round off our season.’ He said that during the pre-season the club had focused on their processes and the brand of cricket they wanted to play: ‘It was encouraging to see the players buy into those philosophies and in the process watch them grow and achieve some amazing things.’
Abrahams said the club was fortunate to have a crop of up-and-coming youngsters looking to make their mark as well as experienced players leading from the front. The latter include Eddie Moore and Brad Dolley, who have established themselves as part of the Eastern Province Senior Provincial team, and David White, who has represented the SA A team and will be attending the CSA National Academy in June. Abrahams said young players on the march were Matthew Christensen, Ngazibini Sigwili and team captain Lloyd Brown: ‘I think the biggest benefit for players and staff is the professional manner in which the club is run and this makes the step up to the next level a lot easier. We hope to become the number one university team in the country, playing an exciting brand of cricket that will ensure our players become sought after by the various unions and franchises. We also have amazing sponsors in Mecer who have been with us every step of the way.’
NMMU cricket manager and deputy director of Madibaz Sport Riaan Osman echoed Abraham’s sentiments: ‘We have several players on provincial duty each season and therefore it is imperative that we have depth in the club to ensure we remain competitive.’
Photo: The Madibaz cricket club’s first team claimed a seventh consecutive win in the Nelson Mandela Bay Cricket premier league.