Home competition discipline NC Heat coach looks back on disappointment and forward with determination

NC Heat coach looks back on disappointment and forward with determination

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The DFA caught up with the Northern Cape Heat head coach Mark Charlton to speak about his impressions on what went wrong for the team during the CSA One Day Cup competition.

Northern Cape Heat Head Coach, Mark Charlton. Picture: Danie van der Lith

The CSA One Day Cup 2023/24 season has been wrapped up, with the ITEC Knights the standout team in the series with an impeccable seven wins out of seven and a healthy 32 log points. So impressive was their run in the competition that the SA Emerging team, that ended up in the number two spot, managed only four wins and were 11 points below the Knights on 21.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the table, in seventh position out of eight teams, the Northern Cape Heat, with nine points as a result of five defeats and only two wins from their seven games has a lot of introspection to do in the aftermath of their campaign.

The DFA caught up with the NC Heat head coach Mark Charlton to speak about his impressions on what went wrong for the team during the competition.

In a candid interview with the DFA, Mark Charlton expressed his disappointment with the team’s performance in the 50-over competition. Charlton said that the team’s journey in the series was marked by narrow defeats. He added, however, that coming so close on so many occasions has taught the team that they need to dig deep, fight hard and overcome inner doubts before they can hope to vanquish their opponents.

He said that the poor run in the 50-over series had awakened in his troops a thirst for redemption in the upcoming CSA 4-day competition.

“It was a very disappointing competition for us,” Charlton confessed. “We didn’t play good cricket at all. For the past couple of years, it has been our weakest format, and we wanted to change that this time around, but unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned.”

Charlton also revealed that the anguish of coming close but falling short weighed heavily on the team. “We lost one game by one run, one game by two runs, one game by seven runs, and one game by one wicket. It is heartbreaking to be so close, but yet so far,” he said.

In the midst of all the challenges and disappointments during the competition, the Heat found solace in the rise of a few standout players. Basheer Walters’ consistent excellence with the ball earned him accolades. Grant Thompson, a versatile player who excelled with both the bat and ball, also played a pivotal role in their campaign.

However, the breakout star of the tournament was undoubtedly Jason Oakes. Charlton praised Oakes saying, “He scored 60, 98, and 99 runs during the 50-over season. I am really happy for him because he has worked hard and deserves everything that comes to him.”

Now, with the disappointing run behind them, the team is looking ahead, shifting their focus to the upcoming four-day competition, a format that has traditionally been their strongest suit.

Coach Charlton emphasised their enthusiasm stating, “We are hoping now that Jason Oakes will make an impact in our four-day cricket campaign. We have our first game coming up against the Eastern Storm on Thursday (yesterday) in Benoni. They are a really good team and finished second on the log in the 50-over tournament, so they have good momentum going into the four-day tournament.”

With eyes set on a new beginning, the Northern Cape Heat aims to turn the page and learn from their experiences in the 50-over competition. Coach Charlton emphasised the team’s resolve to “make sure things go better on the field for us moving forward” and to continue their spirited quest for promotion.

As the cricket enthusiasts around the country eagerly await the new dawn and the start of the CSA four-day competition, the Northern Cape Heat is determined to harness their newfound determination to rise to greater heights and show what they are made of.

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