KZN Academy 2016 intake bond at Shongweni camp
Durban – The 18-strong KZN Cricket Academy intake for 2016 are currently
embroiled in a fun yet challenging three day team building camp at Spirit
of Adventure at Shongweni Dam in the Upper Highway area as they look to
strengthen relationships off the field ahead of their approaching busy
schedule on it.
A quadrangular series in Potchefstroom in July, the CSA Franchise Colts
Week in Oudtshoorn in September and a mouth-watering trip to Abu Dhabi in
December await this year’s crop of tomorrow’s stars, all assignments the
group is eager to impress at.
“The boys will be tested rigorously through a wide variety of different
physical and mental activities during our time at Shongweni with the goal
to bring the group closer before we head out onto the field,” explains KZN
Academy Assistant Coach, Thokozani Zulu.
“We’ve got some big games coming up, starting off in Potch in five weeks’
time, and a strong team spirit will play an important role in contributing
towards them overcoming the challenges they will be faced with on the
“We’ve got a great record as an Academy, having won 24 out of our last 25
matches, and that is something we will look to continue again this year as
we aim to go out there and play the best possible cricket we can,” he
adds. “Hopefully our time on camp will help in the achievement of that,”
The group of 18 players comprises of eight new faces – Blayde Cappel,
Okuhle Cele, Tyron Koen, Nduduzo Mfoza, Jason Wagener, Richard Wissing,
Dudu Zondo, Sthabiso Zungu – while ten of last year’s squad have returned,
including captain Luke Schlemmer.
Notable absentees from last year’s group are Senuran Muthusamy and Rabian
Engelbrecht, both of whom have now progressed from the Academy’s ranks
into regular Provincial team members and, on occasion during the 2015/16
season, even on to represent the Sunfoil Dolphins in the various formats.
“The Academy forms a vital part of the pipeline of talent identification
and development, helping take players from school and club level and
prepare them for Provincial cricket and beyond.
“Sen (Muthusamy) has proven to be such a great role model for the rest of
the guys at Academy level through his tremendous work ethic – always being
first to training or willing to do that extra bit of work on his game.
“He did so well this last season and, in so doing, has also done the
While Muthusamy and Engelbrecht look to continue to contribute
meaningfully towards the KZN Provincial side’s cause and push for more
regular Franchise inclusion, the likes of Smangaliso Nhlebela, Johnny
Riekert, Jason Oakes, Bruce Kerr, Jesse Smit and Okuhle Cele will all look
to continue their journey through the ranks and take on the next level.
“It is great to have seen some of our Academy boys representing KZN at
Provincial level last season.
“Hopefully this can continue again this coming season on the back of
strong performances for the Academy.
“It is also nice to see guys like Okuhle and Smangaliso – amongst others –
earning semi-pro contracts for the coming season alongside Sen and Rabian;
now it’s just about ensuring these guys stay grounded and make the most of
their opportunity,” says Zulu.
The squad’s trip to Potch sees them take on Free State, North West and
Pukke’s academy outfits before the group combines with the KZN Inland
setup for their Colts assignment in September.
The group’s invitation to attend an academies tournament in the United
Arab Emirates in December is another mouth-watering prospect for the group
who will square up against international academies and gain much form
their international experience.
Should any party be interested in contributing financially to the squad’s
tour aspirations, please contact Sunfoil Dolphins CEO Pete de Wet on (031)
The KZN Cricket Academy squad is guided by Head Coach, Yashin Ebrahim and
Assistant Coaches, Thokozani Zulu and Bheki Nyathikazi.
KZN Cricket Academy squad:
Blayde Cappel, Okuhle Cele, Mlungiseleli Gcado, Nazeer Jaffar, Bruce Kerr,
Tyron Koen, Nduduzo Mfoza, Ainsley Ndlovu, Smangaliso Nhlebela, Jason
Oakes, Gavin Reddy, Johnny Riekert, Luke Schlemmer (captain), Jesse Smit,
Jason Wagener, Richard Wissing, Dudu Zondo, Sthabiso Zungu
More information can be found at