February 27, 1974, Soweto, Transvaal
Left hand bat
Right arm medium
Orlando High School
A product of the storied Soweto Cricket Club, Geoffrey Toyana was a prolific left-hander whose pull shot became the stuff of legend. He was classed as a development player which had benefits such as the opportunity to work on the MCC groundstaff in 1995 and drawbacks like the stigma surrounding being placed in that category. He played for Gauteng for several seasons with an average in the upper-20s, but only blossomed after moving to Easterns.
In the 2003-04 season, when the franchise system formed, Toyana averaged 39.85 and was one of the Titans' most important players. Three years later, time had run out and he found himself out of contract.
Easterns took him back but he only played for one more summer before accepting a role as coach in 2008. Toyana's work ethic soon saw him involved in structures higher up. He was included in the management team of the national emerging side in 2010 and involved in the Under-19 World Cup in 2012.
After being picked by Dave Nosworthy to become his assistant at the Lions in the 2011-12 season, it became clear Toyana was destined for higher honours. At the start of the next season, he was named South Africa's first black African franchise coach. Under him, the Lions broke a trophy drought that stretched five seasons when they won the domestic Twenty20 competition. They were also joint holders of the one-day cup and finished second on the first-class standings to cap off an outstanding maiden run for Toyana.
In recognition, he was named coach of a South African emerging side to play a quadrangular T20 tournament in Namibia in April 2013.
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