Shaheed Shaik, co-founder of the school with Nabeal Dien, the chief executive officer of the Western Province Cricket Association, and Clinton Ravens, the cricket master of the school, said the u.14-team of the new institution won 34 of their 35 games in the first quarter.
The u.15-team lost six games, but was victorious in 29 of their 35 clashes.
One of the premier goals of Shaik and the Newlands Cricket High School is to produce 50 black African cricket stars during the next five years.
Of the premier intake of 22 learners and cricketers in 2015 (grade eight and nine), eight players are black Africans.
And Shaik is enormously proud of the major roles the African players have fulfilled in the first season.
The bowler Siya Plaatjie boasts more than 50 scalps in his first season for the school, while Tembani Ngicizela is comfortably the fastest bowler on view.
Shaik is passionate about cricket. Not only did he captain Boland during the 1980’s. He was also at the helm as manager/coach when the Western Province Cricket Club’s u.13-team won the Feedem Pitseng knockout-cup-competition in the Western Cape in 2013 and 2014.
About 80 u.13-teams participated in this prestigious event.
His philosophy was to make the young players understand their distinct roles in the team. The bowlers also bolstered their game plan by constantly taking wickets in the 15-over-a-team contest.
The team also had contingency plans in case they lose constant wickets.
Shaik also founded three private schools in Cape Town.
Part of his approach was to establish a drug-monitoring program which became such a success recipe that government implemented it as a best practice at schools nationally.
Developing leaders, nurturing good people, and instilling self-belief in the minds and hearts of the players are part of Shaik’s philosophy.
He said many of the black players in the school have not left the Western Cape. Taking them on tours to Mossel Bay, Oudtshoorn and Potchefstroom were eye-openers to them.
Strengthening their minds so that they would shrug off feelings of inferiority and start believing they can compete against all-comers, were very important. But he is confident has succeeded in doing that, added Shaik.
One of the highlights of his season was the performance by the u.14-team against arguably the u.14-champion team in the region, Rondebosch Boys High.
The Newlands-based team restricted Rondebosch to 107 for nine after the former had scored 128 for nine.
If the umpire did answer a vociferous appeal for caught behind (the batsman nicked it), the Newlands Cricket High school would have won.
Instead, Rondebosch hung on dourly for a draw.
But it was the level of play by the young Newlands cricketers that excited him, said Shaik.
Clinton Ravens, a former Coke-week coach of Western Province and also an assistant-coach of the WP Cubs team, was up-beat about the quality of the players.
He said although the cricketers train about eight hours in winter and spend around 20 hours a week in the summer practicing their cricket skills, the focus of the first term was more on discipline in the first quarter.
Correcting technical hiccups or faults in the bowling or batting has hardly received any attention. He will address this in the winter. Therefore, much can still be done to raise the standards of the very talented players.
Shaik says one of the challenges during the next five years is to raise funds to accommodate black African cricketers from disadvantaged communities. Many of them don’t have the funds to pay for their schooling and cricket tutelage.
Judging from the amazing standards attained by the cricketers in their first 100 days at Newlands, word might spread quickly that this is an enormous investment in South Africa’s future cricketing wealth.