Cricket South Africa has thrown its official weight behind the Over-50s World Cup with a ringing endorsement for the organisers, sponsors and Cape Town as the host city. The tournament features 12 teams from around the world and begins on March 11 with the final at Newlands on March 24.
The Veterans Cricket Association of South Africa (VCASA) and sponsors, Evergreen Lifestyle, have been working tirelessly for months to ensure that the second edition of the tournament will be a great success.
“The organization and planning that goes into a tournament of this magnitude is huge and we have nothing but praise and admiration for those involved,” said CSA acting chief executive, Dr. Jacques Faul. “A special thanks to Evergreen for sponsoring an event which I’m certain only grow in stature.”
“I know the squad has been training hard and I have no doubt our ‘boys’ will do themselves and their country proud!”
The SA squad will be captained by former EP and Proteas all rounder, Dave Callaghan, and coached by legendary fast bowler Allan Donald. Fixtures will be staged at some of the city’s best known club grounds and schools before moving into the winelands of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.
“A number of players in the SA squad were prevented from representing South Africa in their prime due to apartheid,” says Cobus Bedeker, MD of Evergreen Property Investments. Now, however, players like Rodney Malamba, Lefty Ngece, Nazeem White and Anwell Newman will get to wear the Protea emblem.
“I am proudly aware that we will be representing the majority of cricketers who never had the opportunity to represent their country in the old regime and I’m extremely excited about the tournament – you’re never too old if you put your mind to something,” said Newman, who played eight first-class games for Boland.
Veterans cricket is one of the fastest growing forms of the sport, and according to VCASA Chairman Roger Moult, the Over-50s Cricket World Cup will “serve as a springboard” for the development of the game in South Africa. Veterans leagues have already commenced in the Western Cape and Gauteng, with players in other provinces expressing interest in returning to the game.
Many cricketing nations have strong veterans leagues that keep seniors in the game for longer and provide homes for the legends of yesteryear. The veterans cricket league in Pakistan, for example, recently celebrated their 20th anniversary.
The inaugural Over-50s World Cup featured eight teams and was won by Australia who beat Pakistan by just three runs in a tense final in Sydney. This year the four new teams from India, West Indies, Zimbabwe and Namibia will join those from England, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Wales, Canada and South Africa.
This year’s tournament will be contested over 42 matches with 45 overs per side, and the final will be played at PPC Newlands on 24 March 2020. Admission to all matches is free, and they will also be live streamed by PitchVision.
For tournament details, please visit www.vcasa.co.za.