He said it is an arduous task to develop players for the country as well as keep on winning. Sometimes there are lofty expectations of parents that their sons are going to represent South Africa tomorrow, but that is not necessarily the case.
Western Province played five matches in the Khaya Majola Coca-Cola U19 week in 2017 and lost five. In 2018, they played six and won five, a significant improvement by Western Province.
“Bird has a great presence at the crease and he scares bowlers. When a bowler gets it wrong, he travels,” said October.
Bird scored 106 in the first match against Border and thereafter a couple of twenties in the Coca-Cola week. In the Cubs week he scored a century in the second match and 38 in the final game. He has been selected to make his first-class debut for Western Province senior team against KwaZulu-Natal in Durban on 17th January.
“Siya Plaatjie was the most consistent bowler for Western Province during the Coke week and the Cubs week,” says October. “He bowled wicket to wicket and used the Yorker very well. He asked consistent questions of all the batsmen. He struggled a bit with a groin injury but still did amazing work for the Cubs,” said October.
Makaka was one of the most promising players during the Coke and Cubs week. In the match between the SA Colts and the SA Schools, he scored 59 runs off 59 balls and faced a fully-fledged SA U19 attack, but batted with aplomb.
Makaka said facing the Indian spinners is one of the things he is particularly relishing because his batting against spin is one of the trademarks of his play.
Terblanche was the most consistent batsman during the Cubs week. He understands his game. Last season he was also excellent, but now he has added attacking flair to the mix. He struck 340 runs during the Cubs week at an average of 85.2.
“Cloete is an SA U19 player while only 17 years of age. If he stays healthy and strong, he can make it to the top. He has the ability,” October said.
In the first game against Border, Bird struck 106 and WP won on the first innings.
The second game against Northerns ended in a draw as the number ten and eleven hung on and prevented a result.
The T20 game against North West ended in a stalemate as the match was abandoned due to rain.
In the match against South Western Districts, Western Province required five off three balls and Waron Smith struck a six to settle the deal.
In the match against Boland, Province was in dire straits on 27 for five before Justin Gililand and Guy Sheena combined for an excellent partnership and Province scored 213 for eight.
Plaatjie took 3-35 to set up a Province win.
In the final game, Gauteng beat WP by 25 runs.
The new management team, including Gurshwin Rabie, did a great job to let the team work together and gel as a unit.
In the match between the Lions Cubs and the Cobras Cubs, Terblanche struck an unbeaten 116 and Makaka made 66. They reached 246 for four to eclipse the 243 for eight produced by the Lions.
In the match between the Cobras and the VKB Knights Cubs, the Cobras struck 279 for five with Bird the standout batsman, scoring 106. Terblanche added 68.
The Knights reached 280 for five with Garnett Tarr undefeated on 181.
In the match between the Hollywoodbets Dolphins Cubs and the Cobras Cubs, the Dolphins managed 250. The Cobras Cubs fell short by 27 runs. Terblanche struck 92 and Makaka compiled 29.
The Cobras Cubs struck 209 against the Titans Cubs. The Titans were dismissed for 169. Tebogo Faas nipped out 3-36 and Cloete managed 3-29.
“The commitment, energy and passion with which the Western Province and the Cobras Cups played, was excellent,” said Rabie.
In the Western Cape there is a supposed stigma that players are laid back and don’t work hard enough and cruise because they have the mountain, the beach and the surf.
“We have broken down that stigma with the dedicated approach to our games,” Rabie said.