September 29, 2000

'A' team back after successful Calypso tour

The South Africa A team returned on Friday afternoon from their tour to the West Indies, during which they won the One-Day series against West Indies A 2-0 (the third match was rained off) and drew the two four-day 'Tests'.

On their return the team's co-coach (with Hylton Ackerman), Shukri Conrad, said the tour had been well worthwhile and he had been particularly pleased with the performances of some of the younger players.

"We were surprised that most of the wickets were low and slow and we battled with that in the beginning. For instance, the batters were not getting forward enough at first, but it certainly improved once we got used to the conditions," said Conrad.

"Some of the outstanding performers were Charl Willoughby, Graeme Smith and Mfuneko Ngam, with some good batting from Gerald Dros and Mark Bruyns. We were pleased with the results overall - in the first 'Test' we were saved by the rain, but then the rain turned around to help the West Indies in the next match.

"The one-day games went well for us. I think one of the most important things is we now have some very useful tips for the senior national side who tour the West Indies early next year," he said.

Welcoming the team home, UCB Managing Director Dr Ali Bacher said it was pleasing to see the performances on the tour by some talented young players.

"I am confident that some of these talented young players will come through and play for South Africa. There is a great deal of expectation and anticipation about this team. The experience on this tour will have helped these players towards attaining the objective of playing in the senior national side. I am confident that some of these players will vie for a place in the 2003 World Cup squad," said Dr Bacher.