The Free State all-rounder, Gerald Coetzee, has been named in the South African Under 19 squad which is to tour India in February and March. During the recent Cricket South Africa Cubs week in Stellenbosch, Coetzee was the second highest wicket-taker by claiming a total of 11 scalps.
More than capable with the bat in hand, Coetzee scored a total of 69 runs in four innings, with a highest score of 39 runs.
Coetzee is no stranger to the national U19 set-up, as he was part of the South Africa team which competed in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand. His performance at the World Cup saw him being named as one of the three South Africans in the World Cup XI, along with Raynard van Tonder, who also plays for the Free State at the VKB Knights. The other player named in the select team was the wicket-keeper, Wandile Makwetu of Gauteng.
Late last year, Coetzee was named as the captain of the South African Schools team at the conclusion of the annual Khaya Majola Week, which was staged in Cape Town. The SA Schools team faced the SA Colts team, which was also selected at the conclusion of the week. His good friend and teammate from school, the spinner all-rounder, Ruan Cronjé, played in that particular game for the SA Colts.
While still only 18 years old, Coetzee has already made his mark in first-class cricket after claiming 5/33 on debut for the Free State against Northerns in October last year. – MORGAN PIEK