George van Heerden will lead South Africa Under-19 team at the U19 World Cup 2022, which will be played in the West Indies between January 14 and February 5. The team will also take part in a bilateral tour against West Indies in December to prepare for the marquee tournament.
The Under-19 World Cup 2022 is scheduled to be held in West Indies between between January 14 and February 5. South Africa have announced their team for the tournament with Warriors batsman George van Heerden to lead the side. van Heerden recently captained the side in the Provincial T20 Cup. The team will also participate in a bilateral series against West Indies in build up to the competition.
Dewald Brevis and Asakhe Tsaka are notable inclusions in the squad, both of whom were impressive in the in the CSA Provincial T20 Knockout competition. Tsaka, the right-arm quick, finished the tournament with an economy of 6.42.
Under-19s convenor of selectors Patrick Moroney said that the work of putting these players together had started three years back.
"The process of putting this group of players together is only the pinnacle of the work that started as far back as three years ago when some of these players were exposed to the CSA Talent Acceleration Programme (TAP) for the first time," Moroney said.
"All these players played in the CSA Cubs week hosted in January earlier this year. Covid has played a big part in things being different, especially taking into account the schools cricket programme where schools play each other on a week-to-week basis that could not take place because of Covid. But taking all into account I believe that we have managed to select a team that will be competitive at the World Cup in the West Indies."
Team’s head coach Shukri Conrad believes that the team has an able captain in van Heerden.
"We have a lot of exciting players in our group, and I am certain they will be well-led by George van Heerden,” Conrad said.
"I want us to have the courage of our convictions. Have the courage to play the way we have practised, to follow the philosophy that we have set out and, hopefully, we can adapt, depending on what conditions are prevalent in the West Indies, both on the tour and the World Cup.”
Conrad also stressed on the importance of the West Indies series, and eyes a win before the World Cup gets underway in January.
"The World Cup is the priority, but we also have a series to the West Indies that we'd like to win," he said. "It is also great preparation for the boys. I would like to see our boys continue the work; we still have a little bit of work to do before we get there and once there, to go out and have the courage to play the way we want to play.
"Ultimately, I believe if we do that enough, then we will be victorious. We are certainly not going there as a side who wants to just compete, or a side just thrilled to be there, we want to not only give a good account of ourselves but also get into the play-off stages and win tournaments.
"That's a long way away, but if we follow the building blocks, we will be alright."
South Africa squad for U19 World Cup: George van Heerden (capt), Liam Alder, Matthew Boast, Dewald Brevis, Michael Copeland, Ethan Cunningham, Valentine Kitime, Kwena Maphaka, Gerhard Maree, Aphiwe Mnyanda, Andile Simelane, Jade Smith, Kaden Solomons, Joshua Stephenson, Asakhe Tshaka.
Travelling reserves: Hardus Coetzer, Ronan Hermann, Caleb Seleka.
Squad for West Indies bilateral tour: George van Heerden (capt), Liam Alder, Matthew Boast, Dewald Brevis, Michael Copeland, Ethan Cunningham, Valentine Kitime, Kwena Maphaka, Gerhard Maree, Aphiwe Mnyanda, Andile Simelane, Jade Smith, Kaden Solomons, Joshua Stephenson, Asakhe Tshaka.