Bumper year ahead for Veterans Cricket

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about an abrupt end to the Over-50s Cricket World Cup earlier this year, but Veterans Cricket is assured of a bumper few months ahead.

The Proteas Veterans had started the tournament in Cape Town in March well, beating Wales in their opener before a memorable win against a strong England side. They were midway through their game against India at the Langa Cricket Ground when the tournament was called off.

But Roger Moult, tournament director and interim Chairman of the Veterans Cricket Association of South Africa (VCASA), has been hard at work to ensure the momentum continues.

Last season, only Gauteng and the Western Cape had official T20 leagues up and running, but for the 2020/21 season there will be five new national leagues, with Boland, Eastern Cape, Border, KwaZulu-Natal and Northerns starting their own Over-40s leagues.

In addition, three Veterans Festivals have been arranged – two in Cape Town, and one in Knysna in late January. The Proteas Veterans will play three games at the Knysna Villagers Festival, while 16 Over-40 teams have confirmed their attendance, with one of the matches featuring former professionals like Meyrick Pringle, Makhaya Ntini and Justin Kemp.

In March 2021, the Proteas Veterans will take on Zimbabwe and Namibia in a triangular in Windhoek, and in October the Over-60s Proteas Veterans team will travel to the inaugural Over-60s World Cup in the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Omar Henry and Peter Kirsten have already made themselves available for selection for this tournament.

And, given the feedback from the 12 participating nations at the 2020 Over-50s World Cup, it’s not surprising that the international organising committee has asked Cape Town to re-host the 2022 tournament. All 12 teams have committed to returning to the Mother City, with initial dates set for 8-22 March.

Proteas Veterans coach Allan Donald with England's Mel Hussain
Proteas Veterans coach Allan Donald with England's Mel Hussain

“With so many opportunities available, cricketers who have ambitions to represent their country at these veterans tournaments have no excuse not to get themselves fit and playing again,” Moult says.

Sponsors of Veterans Cricket in South Africa, Evergreen Lifestyle, leaders in retirement lifestyle living, have pledged their support as Evergreen promotes active ageing, wellness and vitality in their retirement villages, making the partnership with veterans cricket an excellent one.

“We offer stress-free living with a strong focus on healthy living, and our Partnership for Life promise provides residents with security, financial peace of mind, continuous care, a sense of community and exceptional hospitality,” says Managing Director Cobus Bedeker.

Cricketers over 40 who are interested in participating in the national leagues are welcome to contact Roger Moult on 076 080 3468, or to send an email to info@vcasa.co.za.