Home Sport Cricket Mini Cricket finally back after two-year shutdown

Mini Cricket finally back after two-year shutdown

Cricket volunteer coaches (backs to camera) take the children through the paces during a pre-Covid-19 pandemic KFC Mini Cricket Festival at Kimberley’s Diamond Oval. Picture: Supplied

This is the foundation phase of cricket which aims to get the children to have fun and learn the basics of cricket.

THOUSANDS of junior cricket hopefuls will on Friday descend on Kimberley’s Diamond Oval to signal the return of the famous Provincial Mini-Cricket festival which is restarting following the repeal of the Covid-19 regulations on Monday this week.

Lawrence Magugwana of Northern Cape Cricket said: “This Friday, after two years of covid restrictions, we have the first Provincial Mini-Cricket festival. We will have over 900 children taking part in ages ranging from four to 10 years old for boys, and four to 13 years for girls”.

Magugwana said this was the foundation phase of cricket which aims to get the children to have fun and learn the basics of cricket.

Some of the youngsters engage in “High Fives” at a pre-Covid -19 KFC Mini Cricket Festival at the diamond oval in Kimberley. Picture: Supplied

“We will have some of the Northern Cape men and women’s team players at the event looking for some up-and-coming stars and trying to get them into the Cricket South Africa hubs and RPCs,” he said.

The Northern Cape Cricket Union has extended an open invite to all of the schools that are close enough to Kimberley to come to the festival. The first teams to respond will be able to participate. There should be around 100 schools at the festival.

Magugwana said the Northern Cape Cricket union will help organise transport for children that come from far.

KFC and Cricket South Africa will provide all of the children with clothing for all the teams including bats, balls and wickets. “This is done so that all children, no matter what background they come from, can play cricket,” he told the DFA.

This season the theme of the festival is “Imvuselelo” (re-awakening) and it is aimed at getting us to think about how we can get the children back onto the field in a safe and secure environment but also with maximum enjoyment.

Some of the top players from the Northern Cape Cricket men’s and women’s teams will be at the festival to coach the children, encourage them, get them to meet their heroes as well as to scout some of the up-and-coming talent.

Magugwana pointed out that in the current Proteas men’s squad, 16 out of the squad of 20 players started their cricket by playing Mini-Cricket. In the Proteas Women’s squad that went to the ICC Cricket World Cup, 14 out of the 18 players cut their teeth at Mini-Cricket.

This is the sight of children of all ages attending one of the earlier KFC Mini Cricket Festivals. Picture: Supplied

“So the Programme is extremely successful as a development programme,” Magugwana said.

There have been over 2.5 million children that have gone through the programme since it started in the 1990s. In all 126,000 youngsters from over 6,000 schools with over 13,000 volunteer coaches are involved in the programme.

The Mini-Cricket matches start at 5pm and last for about 40 minutes. Afterwards the youngsters have a small break before playing a second match.

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