The Khaya Majola Week is back after a year of absence due to the Coronavirus-pandemic. Last year was the first time since 1971 (when it was still known as the Nuffield Week) that the tournament was not held due to unforeseen circumstances.
It is also the first time since 2012 that the Khaya Majola Week will be hosted in the sporting-friendly town of Potchefstroom. The tournament was previously also held in Potchefstroom back in 1999.
In 2012 Diego Rosier of Griqualand West was named the South African Schools’ captain becoming the first player of the union to be bestowed this honour.
In 1999 the national schools’ captain was Jacques Rudolph. He also top-scored with 143 runs against Gauteng during that tournament. Another future Protea Thami Tsolekile was originally named the captain, but he missed the match against North West due to injury.
The week of 2012 will also be remembered for the incredible bowling effort from Daryn du Pavillon of KwaZulu-Natal Inland who recorded the best bowling figures of 7/18 since 1994 in his side’s clash against the hosts, North West.
The core of the current Proteas bowling attack Kagiso Rabada (Gauteng), Anrich Nortjé (Eastern Province), Lungi Ngidi (KZN Inland), and Andile Phehlukwayo (KwaZulu-Natal) was all in action during the 2012-edition. Du Pavillon and Zubayr Hamza also went on to represent South Africa.
Another pace bowler Jan Frylinck (Boland) represented Namibia during the Twenty/20 World Cup earlier this year.
Besides Rudolph and Tsolekile other future Proteas like Graeme Smith, Stephan Cook (both Gauteng), Monde Zondeki (Border), Hashim Amla, Imraan Khan (both KwaZulu-Natal), Johan Botha (Eastern Province), Ryan McLaren (Free State), and Faf du Plessis (North Gauteng) all gave their first steps towards a cricketing career at 1999-edition in Potchefstroom.
The Khaya Majola is therefore without a doubt a steppingstone towards representing South Africa on the cricket field.
The 2021-edition of the week will be one of great opportunity as no player who will be in action has a SA Schools cap. There are two factors that caused this unique situation.
Firstly, none of the 15 players who were selected to represent South Africa at the u19 ICC World Cup in the West Indies early next year will be in action in Potchefstroom. Then there is also the fact that in 2020 there was no tournament held or SA Schools team picked due to the Coronavirus-pandemic.
There are however two players Ronan Hermann (Gauteng) and Hardus Coetzer (Northerns) who will be in action that are non-traveling reserves for the national u19-squad.
Namibia won’t be in attendance this year as they also have to go into a bio-bubble before the World Cup in the West Indies. In their place, an Invitation XI from Cricket South Africa will partake.
This CSA Invitation XI will be led by Dean Bacher, who is the son of former Protea opening batsman, Adam Bacher. The latter represented South Africa in 19 tests. His cousin Ali Bacher is a well-known former cricket administrator who also played 12 tests for South Africa.
Another captain of a union, Ben van der Merwe, also has a famous father. His father, Cassie van der Merwe, represented Border and Free State at first-class level. Cricket South Africa’s Manager of Youth Cricket, Niels Momberg’s, youngest son, Zack Momberg, will be in action for Gauteng during the week. Momberg jr. represented the national u19-side earlier this year.