With the first division final competition for the 20/20 Western Province Cricket Association fast approaching, UWC’s cricket team are training hard to get ready for this important match against the Ottomans team which will take place at Newlands stadium on 27 March. Going into the 20/20 match, UWC holds the number one ranking while the Ottomans, a team based in Surrey Estate who have been around for more than 130 years, are placed fourth. The UWC team placed fifth in their last 20/20 match in December of 2014, and while they may have been just short of placing for the semis, UWC have improved from formerly qualifying seventh in the USSA 50 over cricket tournament in October of 2014. The media office caught up with team coach, Chezley Fortuin, to find out a bit about the team’s strategy for their upcoming game.
Fortuin attributes the improvement to their ability to focus on specific field training for the 20/20 event, as well as the new blood who have joined the team. He believes their coaching team has come to a point where it is organised and stable. The coaching team consists of coaches for the first, second and third team, a fielding coach and biokineticists and physiotherapists who attend to the cricket team. The coaches need to constantly stay on top of learning new fielding techniques and implementing them into training.
The team had to sacrifice most of their January holiday time this year. While the rest of the students were partying it up after the New Year, the team had returned to the cricket field on the fifth of January to begin their 2015 training schedule. However, there are challenges ahead for the coaches in trying to prepare our boys for their upcoming games.
The coaches have worked around each team member’s class schedule and exam dates. The boys are expected to be in the gym or on the field for one-on-one training when they are not in class or studying. Coach Fortuin explains that the boys’ academics are important and they try to keep a good balance between their obligations to the team and their academic commitments.
There are three games remaining in the season before the team will see themselves at the top of the 20/20 league. We wish our boys luck in their upcoming match and we look forward to celebrating their victory.