Eastern Province has announced a formidable line-up for the 2023 Coca-Cola Khaya Majola Cricket Week, featuring a blend of seasoned returnees and promising new faces.
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Esa Gangat, Corby van Heerden, Matthew Beamish, Simnikile Soyaya, Russel Petersen, Aphiwe Mnyanda, and Olwakhe Goqorza headline the list of returning players, having previously showcased their skills at the 2022 event in Stellenbosch.
Grey High School and St Andrew’s College have contributed six of the players in the 13-man lineup. Matthew Poole, the captain of College’s first team, joins forces with Sibusiso Mxube, who captained the EP u16 team in 2021, and the experienced Matthew Beamish.
Beamish and Poole have set the stage ablaze this year, with both achieving back-to-back centuries at the Makhanda Schools’ T20 Cricket Festival in January.
The younger William Beamish has been selected for the EP u16 team.
Grey’s contingent, featuring Jean Upman, Kian Cambier, and the returning Corby van Heerden, further strengthens the squad.
Pearson’s left-arm spinner, Esa Gangat, who is also a more than useful batsman, will have a central role to play. In July, he represented the SA U19 team in Bangladesh. He also appeared for the SA Emerging team in the CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge Division Two competition.
The squad also welcomes back Simnikile Soyaya from Muir College for another campaign.
However, the veterans in this year’s team are Graeme College’s Aphiwe Mnyanda and Olwakhe Goqorza and Russel Peterson of Victoria Park, who are returning for a third Khaya Majola Week.
Mnyanda, Graeme College’s Deputy Head Boy, has earned his stripes, representing the SA U19 team in the CSA T20 knockout in both 2021 and 2022. Goqorza was selected for the SA Colts team in 2021.
The new faces in the squad this year include Westering’s Head Boy for 2024, Hamza Khan, and Daniel Pienaar’s Nolan DiPalo, who has been prolific with the bat this year, averaging 71 runs and scoring more than 1100 in total, including a massive innings of 250 against Nico Malan.
This EP squad has some serious firepower and will be seeking to make some noise in Makhanda in December.
Eastern Province: Nolan DiPaolo (Daniel Pienaar THS), Sibusiso Mxube (St Andrew’s College), Matthew Beamish (St Andrew’s College), Jean Upman (Grey High School), Russel Peterson (Victoria Park), Aphiwe Mnyanda (Graeme College), Kian Cambier (Grey High School), Matthew Poole (St Andrews College), Simnikile Soyaya (Muir College), Olwakhe Goqoza (Victoria Park), Esa Gangat (Pearson), Corby van Heerden (Grey High School), Hamza Khan (Westering High School).
3 Grey High School | 3 St Andrew’s College | 2 Victoria Park | 1 Daniel Pienaar THS | 1 Graeme College | 1 Muir College | 1 Pearson | 1 Westering High School