Qeshile picked for the Proteas
Warriors star chosen for SA T20 side to face Sri Lanka
Warriors rising star Sinethemba Qeshile is set to be thrown into the deep end when he makes his Proteas debut against Sri Lanka during the coming T20 International (T20I) series starting on Tuesday.
Former Hudson Park High school captain Qeshile, 20, who only matriculated in 2017, will be drafted in for the final two T20Is for Proteas star Quinton de Kock, who will be heading to the Indian Premier League competition along with captain Faf du Plessis, Lungi Ngidi, David Miller and Kagiso Rabada after the first T20I.
This opens the door for fellow Warriors players Anrich Nortje, who will make his T20I debut after making his One-Day international debut just under two weeks ago, and Lutho Sipamla, who made his T20I debut against Pakistan last month, a chance to continue impressing the selectors.
For Border and Qeshile, it is a massive achievement as he becomes the first Border-bred player since Monde Zondeki in 2002 to debut for the Proteas, while the last Border-bred player to represent the Proteas was Mark Boucher, who retired in 2012.
A few Border players have played for the Proteas recently including Gihahn Cloete and Christiaan Jonker. However, neither have their roots in the region.
“We finalised the squad last week in Durban, and he was included in it along with Anrich Nortje and Lutho Sipamla as we will be losing a few players to the IPL,” said Proteas selector Luxolo Qoboshiyana.
“I had a chat with him in PE earlier this week and he seemed so overwhelmed, but it is great for him and he fully deserves it.”
Qeshile will have the added weight of taking up the gloves in the absence of De Kock, but with him acquitting himself very well for the Warriors over the past season, he is more than capable of doing the job.
With this having been his first full franchise season for the Warriors, it has been a remarkable rise to the top for the humble young man.
Over the four-day franchise season, Qeshile scored 735 runs at a superb average of 52.50, with eight half centuries to his name. In five games in the Momentum One-Day Cup (before Friday’s match against the Lions) he was batting at an average of 66.25, including hitting his maiden hundred and two half centuries.
Qeshile was also picked in the inaugural Mzansi Super League T20 draft by eventual champs the Jozi Stars, but was surprisingly not given a chance to play over the competition.
“He has been on our radar for a while and the boy deserves his chance. We are using the T20s as a springboard to the ODI team and hope he can eventually make the transition,” said Qoboshiyana.
“He can play all the strokes, the whole country is talking about him and I believe he can become a very important player for us for many years.
“But he must keep his head down and continue working hard.”
Hudson Park High School deputy headmaster and first team cricket coach Dave Alers, who nurtured Qeshile’s talent while at school, was absolutely thrilled upon learning the news.
“He is our first Protea. Aya Gqamane played for the SA A side, which is the closest we had got to the Proteas, so I am absolutely over the moon to hear that Sine has made it,” said Alers.
“I am just so delighted for him because he deserves everything. He is humble, hardworking, committed, he has such a strong mental capacity and is so determined, so he deserves absolutely everything going his way.
“I personally believe that Sine is a person who I back for having a long career in the Proteas because of his iron will and determination.”
The final Proteas ODI against Sri Lanka is on Saturday, while the three T20Is will be played next week Tuesday, Friday and Sunday...