Several of South Africa’s most beloved former Protea players descended on the Sasfin Cape Town Sixes at the weekend to boost young developing cricket talent.
JP Duminy returned to the crease just a few weeks after announcing his retirement from professional cricket and on Sunday a coaching session in the nets with Meyrick Pringle, Brett Schultz, Nantie Haywood and Aubrey Martin, and a separate fielding session with Jonty Rhodes, inspired young players from Cape Town’s Masimphumelele township.
“We are trying to uplift our communities and the game of cricket,” Duminy said after the event.
“But we need infrastructure, nets and facilities, in the rural areas as well, and we need people to buy into our vision. We also need a focus on coaches and give them enough support to develop those players.”JP Duminy
“If we do that we will see kids coming out of their communities making something of themselves.”
The Hit Poverty for a Six initiative saw the Protea legends coaching 26 pupils from Ukhanyo Primary School in Masiphumelele.
Ryan Christian, from Hit Poverty for a Six, said: “It’s been amazing to contribute to the amazing work being done in sports development. Originally, the 2,000 Ukhanyo pupils only had one PT teacher and limited facilities and now, with the support of former cricketer Vince van der Bijl and his MasiCorp750 initiative, he has created a growing sports programme.”
Van der Bijl said: “When we started there were no fields, no kit, nothing. Now we have 19 coaches and eight sports, and Ukhanyo school in Masimphumelele now rocks.
“It’s not about impoverished people – it’s about mixing residents together to make a new South Africa. At the moment South Africa is torn and it requires healing, which will be achieved by the next generation.”MasiCorp750’s Vince Van Der Bijl
On the main oval on Sunday, the #HitPovertyForASix team – including Rhodes, former West Indies fielding coach Ryan Maron, and comedians Rob van Vuuren and Nik Rabinowitz – took on the Protea legends, winning by three runs.
Sasfin donated money for every six hit to Duminy’s latest project, #takeasquarecampaign, dedicated to upgrading a school field at Hyacinth Primary and requiring 2,000 square metres of grass.
The three days of competitive amateur cricket included a VIP Corporate Cup, Castle Lager League, Coca-Cola League, Tag Rugby and six-a-side soccer.
Friday’s Junior Leagues were won by WP Cricket Club’s U11 side and the U13 was won by Big Oaks.
Sasfin CEO Michael Sassoon said: “Seeing SA legends, teachers and coaches come together to raise awareness of the rising talent in this country has made the time, effort and investment completely worthwhile.
“As Jonty Rhodes said in his coaching, just one run can make the difference in a World Cup.”Sasfin CEO Michael Sassoon