Posted on January 25, 2017
The CSA National Academy intake for this year include four students from the University of Pretoria (UP) who are members of the Assupol TuksCricket team.
Student players from across the country have been identified at Varsity Level Cricket and have been included in amateur teams, franchise teams and the CSA National Academy. Players get the chance to play on live TV, the triumphant Varsity Cricket team gets the chance to play in international tournaments and standards across the board have picked up tremendously. These players all manage to balance their academic work with trying to realise their cricketing dreams. They must make many sacrifices in their personal lives in order to study, pass their modules, attend cricket training, go on cricket tours and keep lecturers and coaches happy at the same time.
Assupol TuksCricket Head Coach, Kruger van Wyk said: 'It really is a delight that four players will be representing Assupol TuksCricket and UP at the CSA National Academy in 2017. These players have excelled at university, club and provincial cricket while maintaining a high standard of academic work, which is the players' first priority. We structure training around their classes to ensure that they get to class and pass their subjects. We are very proud of these players and we wish them all the best for the time that they are with the National Academy squad.'
Lungisani Ngidi started at Assupol TuksCricket at the beginning of 2015 after matriculating from Hilton College and deciding to study a BA in social science at UP. He immediately started playing for Assupol Tuks 1 in university and NCU competitions. In the 2015/2016 season, Ngidi was selected to play for Northerns in the Africa T20 Cup and soon made his debut for the Multiply Titans in the RAMSlam T20 and the Momentum One Day Cup. After that season, Ngidi was nominated as the TuksSport Student Athlete of the Year and was awarded the CSA Africa Cup Rising Star Player of the Year. He was also selected for the SA USSA side for their 2016 tournaments against SA and the Sri Lankan Emerging Sides. At the start of the 2016/2017 season, Ngidi made his first-class franchise debut for the Multiply Titans in the Sunfoil 4-Day Series against the Hollywood Bets and took 5/39 in his first innings. During the CSA T20 Challenge, he was also a permanent member of the team and was named Bowler of the Match in the final, having taken two wickets for 27 runs when the Multiply Titans beat the Warriors. Lungi is in his third year of studying and is hoping to finish his course over the next two years.
Thomas Kaber joined Assupol TuksCricket in the 2015/2016 season after recovering from an injury. He quickly made Tuks his home and started studying a BIS in information science at the start of 2016. After joining Tuks, the former Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool player quickly worked himself back into the Northerns Senior Provincial Side, for which he has been playing ever since and serves as captain. Kaber was also named the Assupol TuksCricket Player of Year after only one season with the club. He was selected for the SA USSA team after the 2016 Varsity Cricket Week and has become a pillar of the team, both on and off the field, while continuing with his second year of studying.
Tony de Zorzi joined Assupol TuksCricket and the University of Pretoria after matriculating from King Edward XII School in 2016, after returning from the ICC u19 World Cup as the captain of the South African side. He worked his way up through the Tuks teams and at the start of the 2016/2017 season was appointed as captain for the Assupol Tuks 1 team. In this past season, De Zorzi has also been called up to the Northerns Senior Provincial team and, even though he is a young player, has established himself as an excellent player and a leader in the Northerns Cricket Union. He finished his Higher Certificate in Sport Science last year and is now enrolled as a first-year in the BCom (Entrepreneurship) degree.
Migael Pretorius is one of the newest players at Assupol TuksCricket, having joined the Club at the start of the 2016/2017 season. Pretorius concentrated on cricket after matriculating from Hoërskool Waterkloof in 2013, then enrolled at UP in 2016 to do a BCom (Supply Chain Management) degree. During this past season, he has been a permanent member of the Northerns Senior Provincial team and has been a big asset to Assupol TuksCricket, both on and off the field. Pretorius is now in the second year of his degree.
These four players have proven that it is possible to study while pursuing your sports ambitions and they are great examples for the players around them and those of the future. Through all the training sessions, matches and tours, they have managed to keep up with their studies and been great ambassadors for the University of Pretoria.
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