The first bio-secure environment for the CSA Provincial 3-Day and 1-Day cricket tournaments got underway in Bloemfontein on Monday.
Over a 15-day period, two 3-Day matches and three One-day matches are scheduled to take place at the Mangaung Oval and at the CUT Oval.
A total of six University of the Free State players were selected to represent the Free State, while a seventh member, Beyers Swanepoel, is in action for the Northern Cape.
The six Kovsies in the Free State team are Marco de Kock, Duan Jansen, Pheko Moletsane, Dilivio Ridgard, Phillip Visser and Sean Whitehead.
The Central University of Technology (CUT) also enjoys a good representation in the team, with Peetjan Du Plessis, Paballo Mogoera, Lerato Nqoyi, Romano Terblanche, Johan van Dyk and Nealan van Heerden having been selected for the Free State.
Coach of the UFS Kovsies, Johan Smith, told Bloemfontein Courant that as a club they are just delighted to have the players back in action, especially with the 2021 USSA week in mind.
“It’s great for us as a club to have seven guys in the system to play in these amateur games, especially for the new guys who just got the nod, like Pheko Moletsane and Phillip Visser. It excites us as a club immensely.
“For the last 11 months, it was a really tough time because the guys didn’t play at all. We’ve been preparing and they have been preparing quite well, and we are really looking forward to the experience that they will pick up.
“For us it’s a big year because we are back in the USSA A section, where we think we belong. The experience and everything they bring back will go into December for the USSA week. Unfortunately, the Club Championships has already been cancelled. That makes the USSA week really big for us. Fortunately, we’ve got time to prepare. We basically have nine months to prepare.
“We will look to lean heavily one these players for the USSA week to make sure we stay were we belong and to be able to compete with the big guns like the University of Pretoria. We feel that we are more than capable of standing our own against these guys and hopefully we can spring a surprise or two in December.
“Hopefully they perform for their respective provinces, and with the restructuring, hopefully the Free State can stay in the A section. That will also be great for both us and CUT as the feeders.”
The teams Pool B team in the bio-bubble in Bloemfontein are Free State, KwaZulu-Natal Inland, Easterns and Limpopo. These teams will remain in the bio until the final day of the last 3-Day match on 6 March. – MORGAN PIEK