Rural cricket talent takes centre stage

After days of clashes, curtain comes down on Amacal'egusha on Saturday

RURAL CRICKET: Teams in action during the Amacal’egusha tournament earlier this week. The final will be held at the Amacal’egusha Oval outside King WIlliam's Town on Saturday. Picture: SUPPLIED
DD03012020 CRICKET RURAL CRICKET: Teams in action during the Amacal’egusha tournament earlier this week. The final will be held at the Amacal’egusha Oval outside King WIlliam's Town on Saturday. Picture: SUPPLIED
Image: SUPPLIED

Rural cricket action is heating up as the annual Amacal’egusha cricket tournament heads into its business end, with the final set to be played on Saturday.

The tournament officially got underway on December 26, with teams from across the region battling it out in their respective villages under their unions.

The 10 unions then picked their best 13 players to represent them in the champion of champions section, which kicked off on Thursday.

Two pools of five teams each play each other in T20 matches in a round robin format, with the top two teams from each group facing off in the semifinals, while the winners take each other on in a 50-over final.

“Everything has been going great so far and we are looking forward to Saturday’s final,” said vice-president of Border Rural cricket and PRO of the Amacal’egusha tournament, Sinethemba Mjekula.

“The tournament is mostly played in the rural areas of King William’s Town, Middledrift and Alice and has produced a lot of players that have gone on to big things such as Makhaya Ntini and Monde Zondeki.

“This prestigious tournament pulls in players from outside the province who come down to play in it and big crowds turn up to watch the action, especially the final which always has a great atmosphere.”

Top-class cricket is on the cards, with a number of provincial players taking part in the tournament.

Some of the big names this year include Border pace spearhead Phaphama Fojela, former Border and current South Western Districts batsman Yamkela Oliphant, Border all-rounders Bamanye Xenxe and Malwande Zamo, and up and coming Border players Jerome Bossr, who was joint player of the tournament last year, and Ntabozuko Nqam.

Former Border captain Jerry Nqolo is also taking part, while some exciting schoolboy talent is also on show.

“This tournament is a really good feeder for Cricket South Africa and Border cricket. A lot of youngsters start their careers playing in a tournament like this and get to play against some very good players,” said Mjekula.

“There are a lot of first-class players taking part, so the standard is very high, and many of the games are exciting. So we urge everyone to come and support the action and see how amazing this tournament is.”

Saturday’s final will take centre stage at the Amacal’egusha Oval just outside King William’s Town from 10am.

The 10 Union teams participating are: Ndlambe, Thanduxolo, Peddie, Zondeki, Amagqunukhhwebe, Amagasela, Good Hope, Mbeka, Ikhwezi and Vukani.

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