The inaugural Langa cricket festival on Monday was attended by Tsolekile, Siya Simetu and Malusi Siboto, who were all born and bred in the township.
Bavuma, born in the same street in Langa as Tsolekile, is currently involved in the second test against the West Indies at St. George’s Park in Port Elizabeth as SA middle-order batsman.
“The Langa festival, sponsored by Cricket South Africa (CSA), the WPCA and supported by Kookaburra and Sportsman’s Warehouse, lured about 1500 people. We had cricket clinics, while Simetu, Siboto, Tsolekile and Bavuma hosted four participating teams. The festival will be an annual event on the CSA- and WPCA-calendar,” said Beresford Williams, president of WPCA.
“The purpose of the festival was to revive cricket in one of the most important hotbeds of cricket development in the Western Cape. Langa is one of eight transformation hubs in the area.
“Currently they have four teams, but we want to introduce more players from Langa to the game of cricket,” said Dien.
“On Sunday, 120 kids participated in the clinics, and we also mingled with the community of Langa. We are encouraged by the level of public awareness.”
Recently, the Newlands Cricket High School was launched at Newlands.
The first intake of 26 Grade 8 learners, also accomplished schools-cricketers, are destined to make their home at Newlands under the tutelage of Shaheed Shaik, the headmaster, in 2015.
Clinton Raven, the Western Province u.19-coach and a mathematics and science specialist, will be their full-time cricket master.
“We have had 622 applications and have accepted 20 students,” said Dien.
Applicants are assed by school staff members in terms of their cricket ability and only those players with an above average ability to excel at cricket, will be enrolled at the school.
The school’s core activity will be cricket development. Players will be exposed to the best possible programs, workshops and practice sessions.
“We already have nine black African players and the goal is to have at least fifty black African players from grade 8 to 12 within five years of the establishment of this institution.
“We would like to broaden the base of top-class schools cricketers and challenge some of the boys schools who have been so dominant in providing a significant number of the players for the provincial age-group teams,” added Dien.