The Madibaz Cricket Club have completed another successful season across the board, from producing players for the national team to winning various awards at the recent Eastern Province Cricket prize-giving. Their programme extended to a highly successful campus league, which was played in April and saw the number of residence teams competing increase to 16. Madibaz Sport cricket manager Sipho Sibande said the club and the players could look back on the past season with a great deal of satisfaction. "One of the highlights was the selection of fast bowler Lutho Sipamla for the national team when he made his Twenty20 debut against Pakistan in February," he said. "Lutho, a second-year student this year, excelled for the Tshwane Spartans in the T20 Mzansi Super League and his performances resulted in him receiving a national call-up. "In addition, former Madibaz player and alumni Anrich Nortje was also called up for the South African team. Producing quality players such as these is a feather in the cap for our club. "Anrich was chosen for the upcoming World Cup squad, but unfortunately had to withdraw through injury." He added that a number of Madibaz cricketers earned recognition at various representative levels. Kenan Smith and Joshua van Heerden represented the USSA squad that won the CSA Future Cup held in Kimberley in March, while Tristan Stubbs was selected for the CSA Franchise Academy team for the Franchise Academy week in Oudtshoorn, also in March. Besides Sipamla playing for the Warriors franchise, Smith, Van Heerden, Matthew Christensen, Kenan Vieira, David Masterson and Henco Vorstman turned out for the EP Provincial team. In addition to Stubbs' selection for the CSA Franchise Academy team, Masterson, Vieira, Vorstman and Smith all turned out for the Warriors Franchise Academy team. Sibande said the campus league for students was played over two weekends in April. "The number of participating teams has increased which shows the popularity of the league," he said. "Urban Knights were crowned winners with She Shey Stars being runners-up in a closely contested league." Madibaz continued to play a dominant role in Nelson Mandela Bay club cricket, winning the premier league and the Twenty20 Mayoral Cup premier league titles this past season. Their premier league success resulted in them defeating Fort Hare University in the franchise qualifier. This earned them the right to play in the CSA Momentum National Club Championship in Pretoria. "At the national champs, the team started off the campaign a bit sluggishly when they lost their first two matches against Durbanville Cricket Club and Kovsies [Free State University]," said Sibande. "This came after their first game was abandoned due to a wet outfield. "However, the guys bounced back by finishing the tournament with two good wins against Impala Cricket Club and Pretoria University, which saw them finish fourth out of six teams." Masterson, the Madibaz captain, was recognised for his performances in the local competition when he was named the premier league batsman of the year at the EP Cricket awards function. Other awards went to Stubbs (EP U19 player of the year) and Claudine Arendse (technical official of the year). CAPTION: Madibaz Cricket Club player Lutho Sipamla provided one of the highlights of the season when he made his debut for South Africa in February. Photo: Supplied

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