The appointment of former Under-19 Selector as Convenor of the Proteas selection committee could be great news for younger players.
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Victor Mpitsang has worked extensively in age-group cricket, first acting as a school scout for Under-19 teams before eventually being promoted to the job of chief selector of the critical age-group Proteas outfit.
Lutho Sipamla, Wiaan Mulder and Kyle Verreynne were all selected for Proteas Under-19 duty by Mpitsang before going on to become full internationals.
It is the crop of young cricketers he favoured who have gone on to earn a place in their respective franchises whose ears could prick up at this news.
To name a few Wandile Makwetu, Thando Ntini, Gerald Coetzee, Raynard van Tonder, Akhona Mnyaka and Matthew Breetzke could all be on Mpitsang’s radar.
All of these young players have been earmarked as prospects for international cricket pretty early in the pipeline, but Mpitsang’s appointment may accelerate their progress into the national team.
Thando Ntini has naturally drawn the eye as the son of Proteas legend Makhaya, but he has made his own way breaking through at the Cobras before agreeing to move to the Titans for the 2020/21 season.
Ntini is part of a group of young bowlers the Titans hope to give prominence, and a platform for and these factors could combine to see him propelled into senior Green and Gold sooner rather than later.
Free State young guns Coetzee and Van Tonder should also get their fair share of opportunities at a franchise that has lost some of its experienced talents recently. Coetzee ranks alongside Ntini among the exciting next-generation fast bowlers while Van Tonder is a former Under-19 skipper.
Also with the Knights and Free State wicketkeeper Makwetu will need to work on his batting to get anywhere near the Proteas set-up.
Cobras left-arm quick Akhona Mnyaka offers the ‘something different’ skippers crave but white-ball cricket would appear to be the path most likely to yield an international cap in the near future.
Breetzke is another wicketkeeper-batsman plying his trade at the Warriors the 21-year-old has a first-class ton to his name but needs a mountain of runs to prove he can step up to international level.
Mpitsang will no doubt work closely with Director of Cricket Graeme Smith and Team Director Mark Boucher to establish the vision for the Proteas future, but you would expect these youngsters to cross paths with the selector at some point.
Written by James Richardson for Hollywoodbets.