14 March 2014
Cricket South Africa (CSA) launched its state-of-the-art Centre of Excellence (CoE) at the University of Pretoria Sports Complex on Thursday evening.
The centre will be used by all national teams, including the Proteas test, ODI and T20 squads, the national women’s team, the national under-19 squad, and the national squads for disabled and differently abled cricket. It will also be used for various transformation initiatives.
Development programme dream
“We always dream of having a comparable, if not the best, development programme in the world,” CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat said at the launch.
“With all sporting codes evolving as rapidly as we have experienced over the past decade, CSA is determined to invest in the future so that we remain a world leader in developing our players to their full potential.
“We only have to look at the enormous changes cricket has undergone both on and off the field since we re-entered the international arena 22 years ago,” Lorgat said. “This includes the fast-paced T20 format and the implications that each format has on the other.
“When AB de Villiers reached one of his many test centuries with three successive reverse sweeps it was incredible, but of course unachievable in years gone by.”
The motivation for the CoE, Lorgat said, was about growing the game in South Africa. “Our vision remains two-fold: to make South Africa a nation of winners and to make cricket a truly national sport.
“The CoE is key to both these aims as we continue working hard to keep pace with the growth of the game. It will spearhead excellence and transformation by always being at the forefront of the development of the game.”
‘Equal of any other in the world’
CSA general manager Corrie van Zyl commented: “With the facilities that the University of Pretoria have already established and the new ones we have developed through this investment, I can say with confidence that we have a facility that is the equal of any other in the world.
“It is a dream come true for cricket in this country,” Van Zyl said. “But it is a living dream because it is one that we must continue to drive forward. At the moment we have an outstanding test team, a champion under-19 team, a women’s team that continues to make big strides forward and two Proteas limited overs squads that enjoy great respect across the whole world.
“In other words our cricket is in a very healthy state. But we have seen from the experiences of others how easy it is to fall from the top and how difficult it is to stay at the top. The CoE is a key component in our commitment to successfully remain at the forefront.”