Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Team South Africa finished in 27th position, out of 32 teams, at the Danone Nations Cup World Finals tournament that was played in New York city over the weekend.
Mophela Primary School, of Hammarsdale, KZN, representing the country as SA Danone Nations Cup champions, beat the team from England 2-1 in their last playoff game on Sunday. The tournament was won by Mexico who beat Argentina 2-0 in the final.
England’s strategy in the final game was to play direct football and to try to upset the South Africans. They scored first when they won a corner and SA were not able to clear their lines, allowing England to have two chances at goal, scoring off the second attempt.
South Africa were shell shocked and they battled to bounce back from the goal but luckily for them, Njabulo Ndlovu, who was their player of the tournament, was having his best match.
He defended when he needed to, he attacked when he needed to, and more importantly he scored when he needed to. He scored his first goal off a free kick that was pinpoint and did not allow the English goalkeeper a chance to saving it.
His second goal came off a penalty that he executed with precision.
In the last 3 minutes of the game, once his team had taken the lead, coach Syabonga Ndimande put all the reserves on the field to give all the boys a chance to experience playing in the big stadium – the Red Bull Arena.
England thought that they would have the last say in the game when they won a free kick 5 meters outside the SA box but Njabulo managed to clear the ball, and run the length of the field before a deflection from England stopped him from scoring a hattrick.
The South Africa were very happy to win their last match of the tournament and dedicated the win to Heritage Day.
The 5th Edition of the KFC Mini-Cricket Kids vs Proteas Tour is set to kick-off this summer and will see the Proteas being pitted against three KFC Mini-Cricket teams across the country.
In the 2016/17 season the three all-star KFC Mini-Cricket assistant coaches; Graeme Smith, Neil McKenzie and Mfuneko Ngam, led the schools that won opportunities to play against the Proteas to a 2-all series tie.
Former Proteas Captain Graeme Smith believes that this year the KFC Mini-Cricket team will build on the success of the previous season in getting one up on the Proteas. “In the previous instalment of the KFC Mini-Cricket Kids vs Proteas Tour, the team closed out a tightly contested match and managed to draw the series,” said Smith.
Proteas bating all-rounder, Farhaan Behardien, hinted that there’s great excitement within the Proteas camp for yet another opportunity to play against the KFC Mini-Cricket team.
“With every KFC Mini-Cricket Kids vs Proteas Tour, there has been great improvement on some of the talent on display. This really pays homage to the KFC Mini-Cricket programme as an inspirational grassroot initiative,” said Behardien.
KFC Mini-Cricket has grown into one of the leading grassroot programmes in South Africa. In the previous season, the programme saw a staggering 120 000 kids from over 5078 schools across South Africa taking part in over 22 000 cricket matches in the 2016/17 season.
KFC Public Affairs Director, Thabisa Mkhwanazi said, “Every season has been bigger and better than the previous, and this time around it won’t be any different. With the launch of the 5th season of the KFC Mini-Cricket Kids vs Proteas Tour, we encourage teams to enter and stand a chance to play against our cricketing heroes.”
Cricket South Africa GM: Cricket, Corrie van Zyl, explained that the value of KFC Mini-Cricket lies in the programme being the first taste of organised cricket that aspirant young boys and girls are introduced to. “In their journey of learning the disciplines of cricket, the kids develop self-confidence and learn about the values of building friendships,” added Van Zyl.
“KFC continues to be a supporter of cricket in South Africa and we remain fully committed to giving kids, coaches and all involved the opportunity to develop and upskill themselves through the KFC Mini-Cricket programme and the KFC Mini-Cricket Kids vs Proteas Tour,” he concluded.
KFC runs a nationwide competition to select their teams whereby the three entering schools will be drawn and will be given the chance to pit their KFC Mini-Cricket teams against the mighty Proteas.
Three spots are up for grabs! Step up to the crease and give your school the chance to take on their heroes, the Proteas.
Dial *120*7535# or visit www.kfcminicricket.co.za now to enter!
About the KFC Mini-Cricket Kids v Proteas Tour
For the fifth year KFC will run a national competition where KFC Mini-Cricket kids will stand the chance to play against the Proteas in the KFC Mini-Cricket Kids vs Proteas Tour.
Kids can enter online (www.kfcminicricket.co.za) or via USSD (*120*7535#).
The winners will be rewarded with a prize handover, a training session and a game against the Proteas, all assisted by one of the three KFC Min-Cricket coaches, Graeme Smith, Neil McKenzie and Mfuneko Ngam.
About KFC Mini-Cricket
KFC Mini-Cricket provides a platform for kids in South Africa to have fun and get active.
KFC Mini-Cricket is the largest grassroots development sports programme in South Africa and is also an essential building block for learning cricketing basics and entrenching a love for the game.
There are currently over 120 000 kids from over 5078 schools’ active in the KFC Mini-Cricket programme who are coached by nearly 9268 volunteers.
KFC has sponsored KFC Mini-Cricket since 2010 and in the 2012/13 cricket season KFC became the title sponsor of the KFC T20 Internationals and an associate sponsor of the Slam T20 Challenge.
KFC renewed its Mini-Cricket sponsorship for a further 10 years, taking the partnership through to 2025.
Log on to www.kfcminicricket.co.za or contact CSA at (011) 880 2810 for more info on KFC Mini-Cricket.