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Pro Cricket back in the Northern Cape

The Northern Cape Heat XI with their trusty mascot at the team’s unveiling. Picture: Neville Motlhabakwe

The professional game will be making a comeback to the Northern Cape after more than 20 years.

A CRICKET fest is in store for lovers of the game in the Northern Cape as the professional game makes a comeback to the province after a 21-year absence.

The province’s new professional outfit, the Northern Cape Heat XI, were introduced to the public on Tuesday at a function in Kimberley, ahead of the upcoming CSA Provincial T20 Knock Out competition that will run from September 24 to October 6.

Northern Cape Cricket (NCC) CEO Eugene Jacobs was excited as he explained the positives surrounding the provincial team’s new status as a franchise within the Cricket South Africa fold.

“For the competition to be played in Kimberley is huge,” Jacobs said. “We are going to have pool A and D teams, including the finals weekend of the competition, played here in Kimberley.”

Jacobs said that the competition will have other positive knock-on effects for the City.

“The people of the province and the business people who have been struggling with Covid will now have the opportunity where players will come into the town and the hotels will be occupied as will the restaurants and the guesthouses.

“There will be a little injection into the economy,” Jacobs said.

Northern Cape Heat XI coach Mark Charlton echoed the CEO’s excitement.

“It is absolutely fantastic to have professional cricket back in Kimberley after 20 years,” he said.

“It’s an opportunity for the area, for the community and certainly for the players; it’s unbelievable. I am really looking forward to representing the Northern Cape and going out there trying to win some cricket cups.

“Our first competition is the CSA T20 tournament. We are in the B-section at the moment but in the T20 we are playing with two A-section teams. So it’s really going to be a tough competition. But we are going to try to knock them over and make sure that we put ourselves on the map.

NCC Heat captain Aubrey Swanepoel said it felt good to be part of the team ahead of the T20 tournament which starts later this month at the world class Diamond Oval.

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