The Maritzburg College first XV are set to take on Eltham College at 8pm (SA time) in the first match of their tour to England and Wales.
This tour update is brought to you by official tour operators, the Howick-based Bundu Bashers Travel.
desdot photography feature image of (from left) Kaide Morsink, head coach Cameron Fraser,Kent Goedeke and Payton Elliot putting the final touches together in the tour party’s last training session on Goldstones before flying out on Saturday evening.
Here’s what head coach Cameron Fraser told KZN10.com earlier today.
“The flight was tiring, a bit strenuous, we arrived in England just after 2pm yesterday and proceeded to Eltham College where the boys were hosted out, and we had a training session this morning.
“Their side was unbeaten last year and obviously their side today has a lot of juniors, like us; they played a match on Saturday, their third of the English season.
“Our players are in a transition phase, they have been playing cricket and water polo, we have had to make do and had two training sessions per week.
“The weather here has been a bit drizzly, but it’s dried up now, so just overcast and cool.
“The boys have been in good spirits, and started playing touch rugby virtually the moment we arrived, apart from a few having a touch of gastro, while our blindside flank Brannon Webster has been feeling nauseous and won’t be in the starting XV; Chris van Heerden takes his place.
“The boys are looking forward to playing in front of what we believe will be quite a large contingent of Old Boys, and it’s an amazing opportunity for them to show what Maritzburg College rugby is all about on the international stage.
“We have requested that rolling subs be allowed, so we will be able to call on the entire number of our tour players if needs be – that’s why we have 10 on the bench.”
MARITZBURG COLLEGE STARTING XV vs ELTHAM COLLEGE
It is a significant milestone as the Oppenheimer Michaelmas Cricket Week, so splendidly hosted as always by Maritzburg College, celebrates its 60th birthday from September 21 to 24 during this year’s festival of all that is great in South African schools cricket.
So many participating first XI schoolboy cricketers, coaches and managers have mentioned that these four special days are the highlight of their cricket year.
And it is to the camaraderie of this gathering of schoolboy cricketers, coaches, managers, umpires and spectators that long-time sponsor Jonathan Oppenheimer always refers in his annual message.
DAY 1 AND DAY 2 FIXTURES
One of the central precepts in making Michaelmas such a kaleidoscope of memories is the team of people who run the festival, headed by Maritzburg College deputy headmaster, co-curricular, Brandon Swart and co-curricular administrator Stacey Emerson.
The festival runs like clockwork – or as close as you can get, given the vagaries of the weather and suchlike.
Camaraderie aside, the standard gets higher and higher every year and the quality of the contests gets tougher and tougher, but while results are important there is one longer-lasting durable that never changes – the spirit that is so palpably evident in the exchanges between the boys, coaches, managers, umpires and unfailingly diligent festival support staff.
DAY 3 AND DAY 4 FIXTURES
It is also a unique cricket event in that all 10 of the KwaZulu-Natal province’s leading schoolboy first XIs are represented in one festival.
Hosts Maritzburg College and – in no particular order – Clifton College, Durban High School (DHS), Glenwood, Hilton College, Kearsney College, Michaelhouse, Northwood, St Charles College and Westville all play against some of the very best schoolboy cricket first XIs in the country.
The school first XIs from outside KZN taking part in this year’s 60th Oppenheimer Michaelmas Cricket Week are, in no particular order, St Stithians College, Pretoria Boys’ High School (PBHS), Grey College, King Edward VII School (KES), St David’s Marist Inanda, St Albans College, St John’s College, Jeppe, St Andrews College (Grahamstown), Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool (Affies), Hudson Park (East London)
and – in terms of the decades that the likes of KES have been at Michaelmas, a relatively new and invaluable addition in the form of the Cricket South Africa Talent Acceleration Programme XI (colloquially know as CSA TAP) a side that has taken the honours against the long-standing Michaelmas teams on numerous occasions.
Of much import, too, is the quality of cricketers that have passed through the Week who have gone on to great things.
Ali Bacher and Graeme Smith (KES), Kepler Wessels and Hansie Cronje (Grey College), AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis (Affies), and Hashim Amla (DHS) are some of the Michaelmas cricketers over the past 60 years whose post-school careers have led them to become SA national team captains.
And just some of the Michaelmas cricketers who have gone on to reach the pinnacle of the game and delight audiences around the world include Barry Richards (DHS), David Miller, Kevin Pietersen and Jonty Rhodes (Maritzburg College) and Quinton de Kock (KES).
Just 8 days to go and we are into Day 1.
It’s the much-anticipated Saints vs Red Black & White first XI Twenty20 derby 4pm at the Varsity Oval today and the question on my lips is: Will it be another 97-96 Epic??
The KZN Inland Big 4 Quadrangular – or T20 Big Bash presented by PMB Varsity Cricket Club – is into its second round this week and the two sides that emerged victorious from Round 1 are going head-to-head.
Jono Cook feature image: Maritzburg College’s talented grade 11 batsman Ross Klusener has the proven BMT to score runs when it matters most.
Last time out St Charles edged Michaelhouse by 10 runs while Maritzburg College comfortably dealt with a disappointing Hilton College.
Back to the 97-96 Match.
After the long-awaited SCC v MC 50-over match was cancelled without a ball being bowled due to the inclement weather in the first term, a T20 friendly was hastily arranged for the next mutually accepted gap the following week – and what a classic it turned out to be.
Saints were bundled out for a modest 97 and Maritzburg College were cruising to victory at the back-end of the match before some magic with the ball and out in the field by the celebrated Zim duo of SCC captain and 2019 SA Schools T20 Player of the Year Wes Madhevere and his super-talented countryman Clive Madande pulled the home side’s fortunes out of the fire and spurred them to the narrowest of one-run, last-ball-of-the-match victories.
Going into this afternoon’s 4pm Big Bash the Maritzburg College lads had spent some quality time out in the middle during the weekend’s Fasken Cricket Festival hosted by St David’s Marist Inanda in Johannesburg.
But the two sets of two-day double innings matches ain’t quite T20 so it’ll be interesting to see how quickly the men in the red-black-and-white-striped first XI caps adapt to the demands of the truncated form of the game.
Saints enjoyed a comfortable win in a low-scoring 50-over encounter with visitors Northwood on Saturday and are therefore probably more finely-tuned for today’s muscle-up.
That said, a T20 local derby is anyone’s game so it’ll probably boil down to who of 2019 Coca-Cola Schools T20 National Franchise Finals silver medallists St Charles College or the gutsy well-balanced Maritzburg College squad want victory the most.
We will know for sure in just a few hours’ time.
The food and cooldrinks/coffee/cappuccino catering is good at the Varsity Oval (in the Peter Booysen Sports Park off Golf Road in Scottsville) while the cricket is sure to deliver.
Winning the toss and opting to bat could also be a game-breaker as the team batting second has to negotiate the in-between time when the setting sun and the floodlights compete for the batters’ attention.
See you there.
If not, you’re welcome to follow my live text commentary and more on the Jonathan Cook Facebook page.
In a few days’ time a squad of 25 eager Maritzburg College rugby players are departing for a two-week tour to England and four testing matches that will be an early measure of where the players and the first team group stands ahead of the 2020 domestic season in South Africa.
The men in Red Black and White have their last training session on Goldstones from 3pm to 5pm this Wednesday before jetting off to London at the weekend.
Martin Ashworth feature image: Maritzburg College first XV scrumhalf Henry Trodd will be aiming to create and exploit space in England.
“What we would like to achieve with the tour is to try out different combinations with the available players,” Maritzburg College first XV head coach Cameron Fraser told KZN10.com
“And also to create an environment where our senior players can positively influence and assist with the growth of our junior players.
“We wish to also promote the College brand and boost the international awareness of Maritzburg College abroad.
“In the ideal world our goal is 4 perfect efforts to create a solid performance platform for 2020.”
BIG GAMES ON TOUR
“Millfield (18 September) and Oakham (24 September) will be our toughest opposition, as they collectively fielded 3 England U18 players this season,” Cameron added.
I am sure that all of you valued KZN10 supporters join KZN10.com website and social media in wishing the boys in Red Black & White everything of the best across the sea and safe return on September 28.
#REDBLACKWHITE TOUR FIXTURES
Match 1: Eltham College near London 16 Sept
Match 2: Millfield School near Bath 18 Sept
Match 3: Christ College Brecon near Cardiff 21 Sept
Match 4: Oakham School near London 24 Sept
MARITZBURG COLLEGE TOUR
- Cebo Dlamini (LHP)
- Junior Mndaweni (HK/LHP)
- Tristan Trollip (THP)
- Wandile Hlophe (LK/FL)
- Chris van Heerden (LK/FL)
- Malwande Dlangalala (FL)
- Brannan Webster (FL)
- Henrico Corbett (8/FL/HK)
- Henry Trodd (SH)
- Sven Zunckel (FH)
- Khwezi Hadebe (LW)
- Jarred Hendrikz (IC/FB)
- Philani Simamane (OC)
- Kaid Morsink (RW/IC)
- Anele Nzimande (FB/FH)
- Reece Wilken (HK)
- Travis van Aardt (THP)
- Athi Matsheke (LHP/THP)
- Campbell van Rooyen (LK/FL)
- Michael King (8/FL)
- Thabo Mbatha (LK/FL)
- Matt Zunckel (LW/OC)
- Payton Elliot (SH)
- Kent Goedeke (FH)
- Reece Price (IC)
Head Coach: Cameron Fraser
Assistant Coach: Renard le Roux
Tour Manager: Ryan Kyle (admin & organisational)
Kevin Smith: Director of Rugby (College Rugby representative and administration)
Biokineticist: Jason Greeff (treatment and rehab of injuries)
Jacques van der Walt hit an unbeaten 150 and Tristan Elam 87 in a third-wicket partnership of 184 to stop a charging St Stithians on their home ground in the opening two-day Fasken St David’s Time Cricket Festival match for both sides, which ended drawn in Johannesburg.
DesDesignsDot feature image (file pic) – : Jacques van der Walt on his way to 100 vs Westlake of New Zealand on Goldstones during last year’s Oppenheimer Michaelmas Cricket Week (2 October 2018).
College lost the toss and St Stithians grabbed the opportunity to take first strike. As College first XI coach and director of cricket Kyle Nipper told KZN10.com last Thursday evening: “It was a good wicket for batting, quite flat with not much in it for the bowlers. We would also have liked to bat first.
The Saints batters progressed to 308/4 off 62.4 overs in their first innings before the Maritzburg College men went in on day one.
“Our bowlers found it tough going on a pitch that was great for batting,” said Nipper.
St Stithians opener Jodi de Sousa (41) and fellow opener Cameron Rowe (37) got the Saints away to a good start before the two other top 4 batters Liam Mostert (124 not out) and Muhammad Manack (71) propelled the innings forward.
College pacemen Mondli Khumalo (1 for 67 in 13 overs) and Sanele Mbatha (1-59 in 12) plus off-spinner Chad Fortmann (2-60 in 12.4) got the Saints wickets.
College used 8 bowlers in a bid to make a breakthrough against the strong Saints batting line-up.
“They batted really well. We had a few chances that we let slip but that’s part of the game. They capitalised on some poor bowling and punished anything loose,” was Maritzburg College coach Kyle Nipper’s summation of the Saints first innings.
It was now up to College in the afternoon on Day 1 to respond. Their first innings was in all sorts of trouble at 13 for the loss of 2 wickets before first XI captain Jacques van der Walt joined opener Tristan Elam.
Said coach Nipper after the close of Day 1: “Tristan Elam (74*) and Jacques van der Walt (44*) were superb with the bat, soaked up lots of pressure in the beginning when we were 13/2 but then shared an unbeaten 125-run partnership to get us back in the game.
“(On Day 2) we will look to get the 2 batters back in again and set up stall for a bit, then hopefully keep some wickets in hand to allow us to accelerate towards the back end of the innings and set up a first-innings lead”
Elam eventually fell for 87 (131 balls, 11 fours and 1 six). The opener, together with his skipper, had put on a match-saving 184 for the third wicket.
Van der Walt was to eventually retire hurt of his own choosing, having developed a back strain after keeping wicket and then batting for a total of well over 100 overs. The captain’s unbeaten 150 came off just 175 balls and included 19 fours and 4 sixes.
Ross Klusener (53* off 45b, 4×4, 1×6) first with his captain and then Chad Fortmann (23*) steered College to declare on 352/4 in 65 overs; Saints having used 9 bowler, as College took a 44-run first innings lead.
St Stithians have a very good attack upfront and it was Tristan Brooks (3-72 from 14 overs) and fellow opener Matthew Lieberman (1-42 off 10) who got the wickets.
“Day 2 saw (our) batsmen continue, scoring freely and with great control,” said Nipper. “After a partnership of 184, Elam fell for a well-played 87, while Van der Walt kept scoring with ease and reached his century. He would end his innings on a superb 150, retiring hurt due to a back strain.”
Nipper added: “Saints came out to bat (second innings) with their only intention to bat for the rest of the (second and last) day, which they did, to reach 235/3 with Michael King (2-18 in 5) being the pick of the bowlers. The match ended in a draw.”
Jodi de Sousa (121 off 153 balls with 10 fours and 3 sixes) and Muhammad Manack (54*, 74b, 4×4 and 1×6) were the chief St Stithians second-innings run-scorers.
College’s Fortmann picked up 1 for 42 from 10 overs to join King as the wicket-takers in Saints’ second innings.
It was certainly quality time spent in the middle for a number of the players from both sides ahead of their participation in the 60th Oppenheimer Micjhaelmas Cricket Week, which starts in Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas on 21 September.
TAKE THE TIME TO HAVE A READ THIS and direct your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org
With Day 1 of Maritzburg College’s 60th annual Oppenheimer Michaelmas Cricket Week just 17 short days away I was clearing out my cupboard and came upon a December 2018 feature I wrote on Mike Bechet, the outstanding SA schoolboy cricket (and hockey) coach. The upshot is that my cupboard is still not cleared up… as I spent the next hour before going to the office reading and reminiscing on a remarkable man I came across for the first time in 1981.
Here are some of the SA School Sports magazine excerpts from that fascinating interview with Bech. Can’t wait to catch up with this legendary Durban-born DHS Old Boy and Jeppe first XI coach in the iconic Kent Pavilion on Goldstones.
Feature image: Mike Bechet with one of his Maritzburg College players who have made it big on the world stage and the SA sports star who inspires him the most – David Miller – pictured here at the SA Cricket Awards Evening in 2016.
Impressive schoolboy cricket coaching credentials of Mike Bechet.
So what does Bech – the longest-serving member of the SA Schools and SA U19 selection panel – look for in a schoolboy cricketer?
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The Mike Bechet you don’t know.
Bech’s thoughts on the life skills that cricket teaches schoolboys.
So what is it about schoolboy coaching that drives Bech?
Mike Bechet is director of cricket, head of boarding and a teacher/coach at Jeppe. So Bech, the teacher/coach or professional coach dilemma?
‘Surround yourself with the right people’ – Mike Bechet
Mike Bechet pays tribute to his family.
Four of the best. Guess who played first team cricket too?
This year’s Coca-Cola Schools T20 National Franchise finalists St Charles College take on Michaelhouse: UKZN PMB Varsity Cricket Club’s Schools T20 Big Bash kicks off at 4pm on the PMB Varsity Cricket Oval in the Peter Booysen Sports Park off Golf Road in Scottsville this afternoon.
Let’s hope the Peter Booysen Sports Park off Golf Road draws plenty of support from the two schools’ Old Boys, parents, boys and staff – plus you the school sports enthusiast – as we’ll be basking under the Varsity Oval floodlights on a beautiful Spring evening in just a few hours’ time.
@kirstyspix feature image: Michaelhouse and KZN Inland 17 batsman Jared Meiring hits a massive six for his Zulu Kings franchise during a recent Dolphins Premier League T18 match at the City Oval in Pietermaritzburg.
Tomorrow’s 4pm Big Bash start sees 2018 Coca-Cola Schools T20 National Franchise finalists Hilton College up against long-standing rivals Maritzburg College – another schoolboy cricket clash to savour.
Several of the cricketers in today’s clash have already spent fruitful time in the middle – be it for the KZN Inland U17 squad versus Zimbabwe, for their respective teams in the Dolphins Premier League or during pre-season friendlies for their school first teams.
The 4pm Big Bash Twenty20 action continues next week – this time on the Tuesday and the Thursday – when Saints tackle Maritzburg College (4pm on 10 September) before Hilton cross swords with the busy Saints (4pm on 12 September).
Then there is a 20-day break until play resumes when Maritzburg College meet Michaelhouse (4pm on 2 October) followed by Michaelhouse vs Hilton 24 hours later (4pm on 3 October).
The third/fourth place playoff is the following week (8 October) before the grand finale title match 2 days later (10 October).
See you there!
AS we go into the latter part of the year, it’s perhaps time for KZN10 sportsmen to reflect on what they did well and what they can change.
But during this relative down time, especially for the winter sport aficionados, a degree of conditioning training will be expected – as the cricket, basketball and water polo seasons are already upon us.
Jono Cook feature image: Maritzburg College biokineticist Jason Greeff.
For the rugby, hockey and even the football programmes there will be a cooling off period for most, with rest and rehab thrown into the mix.
The biggest bugbear of every sports-mad KZN10 schoolboy is injury: the seasons are short, compact and extremely intensive; a few weeks out of action, less-than-ideal rehab and suddenly the rugby (for example) season is done and dusted; and potential has not come close to being realised.
What’s even worse is that for the grade 12s it’s the last time they will ever have the unforgettable opportunity to play KZN10 schoolboy sport – you want to leave school with great sporting memories, not “what-might-have-beens”.
So let’s take a look at what the KZN10 schoolboy sport medical specialists’ views are; general pointers to guide KZN10 schoolboy athletes whatever their primary sports code may be:
A while ago, KZN10 asked Maritzburg College biokineticist Jason Greeff, who works closely with physiotherapist Mike Denton, to enlighten us on some of the processes.
Jono: Jason, you have honours degrees in both biokinetics and sports science, and extensive work experience in elite sport, including KZN10 sport, what has always intrigued me personally is how do the bio and physio work together?
Jason: “Jono basically the difference between a bio and physio is that the physio handles the initial phase of injury, while the bio takes over from the physio so that the athlete can to return to play.
“Physios handle the acute injury – they deal with chronic injuries as well, but acute being the initial injury once it’s occurred. Physios handle the fibro-blast repair phase, which is the inflammation; they help the muscle heal, the swelling, the initial healing.
“Once the ‘wound’ has healed and there is pain-free range of motion, there will be a handover from the physio to the bio. Those muscles have atrophied; they have become weaker because they haven’t been used.
“So the biokineticist’s job is to strengthen those muscles to make sure that (a) the injury doesn’t re-occur and (b) also to get the player up-to-speed with his fitness so that he can get back into the match arena.”
Jason certainly knows his stuff, having completed his internship at the Sharks under the guidance of the legendary Jimmy Wright, a man with 30-plus years’ experience in the field in dealing with professional athletes.
Jason: “Yes, Jono, from Jimmy I learnt so much; every time I sat with Jimmy there was something new to take away. I was privileged in having that exposure at such a high level and it laid the foundation for my working with schoolboy teams.”
An interesting aside is that Jason is a big fan of athletics; the sports code being a vital component in the physical development of athletes no matter their sports code of choice, that is, their sports code that involves running as a specific skill in the sport.
Jason: “Jono, in many sports codes it’s essentially all about the mechanics of running. And that is where the sport of athletics comes in.
“From a young age, most [KZN10] boys haven’t been taught how to run efficiently, so from a bio-mechanical point of view more emphasis on athletics in the first school term would definitely aid speedwork, fitness and injury prevention, while the benefits of cross-over training into, for example, the rugby, hockey and soccer seasons, to name but three, will go a long way towards minimising needless injuries.”
Jono: Thanks Jason, certainly much food for thought, and in your employers’ case, Maritzburg College is perfectly placed to take advantage of this insight now that an internationally accredited athletics stadium lies literally a hop, step and jump from the school precinct in Princess Margaret Drive.
Roll on the rest of 2019 – and, of course, a bright new start with the year 2020 not far away. KZN10.com can barely wait.
The Maritzburg College first XI have an active schedule of 17 fixtures ahead of them over the next 64 days, starting with the annual 50-over match with the Maritzburg College Old Boys XI on Goldstones tomorrow (31 August) and ending on November 2.
The team list of what is a powerful Maritzburg College Old Boys XI has just been released (1.55pm) to KZN10.com by Maritzburg College director of cricket Kyle Nipper and is as follows:
Maritzburg College Old Boys XI
The Maritzburg College first XI Class of 2019 will play 2 two-day double innings matches, 4 Twenty20 matches and 11 matches in the 50-over format.
Featured image: Maritzburg College first XI captain Jacques van der Walt.
The T20 matches form part of the much-anticipated (4pm start) day/night T20 Big Bash League (hosted and presented by the UKZN PMB Cricket Club) that also includes the Hilton College, Michaelhouse and St Charles College first XI’s (more about that in an upcoming article).
So, the next 64 days are certainly something to look forward to for captain Jacques van der Walt and the Maritzburg College team. Check out the fixtures below.
MARITZBURG COLLEGE FIRST XI FIXTURES
31 Aug vs Old Boys (Goldstones)
3 Sept T20 Big Bash vs Hilton (4pm at Peter Booysen Sports Park, UKZN PMB)
Fasken Time Cricket Festival (hosted by St David’s Marist Inanda)
(two 2-day double innings matches – max 105 overs first innings)
5/6 Sept vs St Stithian’s College (St Stithians Main Oval)
7/8 Sept vs St John’s College (SJC’s Burger Field in Houghton)
10 Sept T20 Big Bash vs St Charles College (4pm at UKZN PMB)
14 Sept vs Westville (Bowden’s)
60th Oppenheimer Michaelmas Cricket Week (all on Goldstones)
21st Sept vs PBHS
22nd vs Grey College
23rd vs St Alban’s College
24th vs Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool (Affies)
2 Oct T20 Big Bash vs Michaelhouse (4pm at UKZN PMB)
5 Oct vs DHS (Theobald’s)
* 8 Oct (possible) T20 Big Bash 3rd/4th place playoff (4pm at UKZN PMB)
* 19 Oct (possible) T20 Big Bash final (4pm at UKZN PMB)
12 Oct vs Northwood (Robin Smith Oval)
19 Oct vs Hilton (Jack Hart-Davis Oval at Hilton)
26 Oct vs St Charles (Goldstones)
2 Nov vs Clifton College (Goldstones)
Durban High School appear to have struck gold in their recent appointment of Nico le Roux as director of rugby.
The glowing credentials of new DHS rugby boss Nico le Roux speak for themselves and there is likely to be much to celebrate for the boys both on and off the field.
Nico has served as Impala Rugby Club in Rustenburg’s director of rugby for the last 4 years, until the 2019 Gold Cup-winning final.
Impala RC won the event twice and were silver medallists once.
In earlier years of a distinguished coaching career that had begun in 1994, the-then All Blacks coach John Mitchell employed Nico as his technical advisor.
In his 26-year coaching career Nico has also worked in various capacities across the coaching spectrum.
In no particular order here, these include roles from technical adviser, High Performance analyst, HP manager, attack coach, course presenter, coach educator and head coach.
Apart from Impala RC, among his notable employers and teams have been the Lions, Blues and Chiefs Super Rugby franchises, the All Blacks, the junior All Blacks, SARU and the Investec Academy (Elite player group).
To complete the package, Nico holds a B.Comm honours degree in sports management.
The DHS rugby boys and coaching staff appear to be in good hands – and then some.