South Africa A cricket team helping to polish talent

South Africa v New Zealand - 2nd Test

NATIONAL: (By James Thomson)– The South Africa A winter tour has not only been a platform for players to bid for international recognition, but has also been an eye-opening experience for the local franchise coaches to broaden their database.

Five franchise coaches – Paul Adams (Cape Cobras), Lance Klusener, (Dolphins), Piet Botha (Warriors), Geoffrey Toyana (Highveld Lions), Sarel Cilliers (Knights) and Malibongwe Maketa (Titans) – all assisted head coach Vincent Barnes during certain periods of the six-week tour against Australia A and India A.

The second unofficial Test against India A starting at the Tuks Cricket Oval on Saturday is the final hurdle of a challenging yet invaluable experience for the players and coaches involved.

“We felt it would be beneficial to the High Performance Programme to have quality coaches assisting me during the South Africa  A tour,” SA A coach, Vincent Barnes said.

“It also gives our domestic coaches an opportunity to work in this environment against international opposition.

“It has worked well because they bring in a lot of experience as assistant coaches and their interaction is important for this programme.

“Our relationship with the coaches is a lot stronger and that is beneficial going forward.”

Knights coach, Sarel Cilliers, says the experience has given him an idea of what is needed for his players to compete successfully against the world’s best.

“I really enjoyed working with some of the other franchise players,” he said.

“It was a good opportunity to tap into the other players’ mindsets and to share information.

“Our players were tested in difficult conditions in Rustenburg and that not only exposed their short-comings, but also gave a valuable indication of the areas to work on so that we give more accomplished cricketers to the national team.”

“It was a great experience, especially being afforded the opportunity to work with the top crop of players in the country,” said Cape Cobras coach, Paul Adams.

“I particularly enjoyed sharing ideas and getting a different take on game tactics and situations from the players.

“It is a great platform as it is another way of creating growth amongst the players and the coaches in the structures.

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