HUDSON Park High School’s first team have been excelling on the cricket field for the past few years, producing talented, disciplined and professional cricket players.
Two players, Akhona Mnyaka and Jason Niemand, recently returned home after being selected for the South African Under-19 side that played Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka over the past month.
“It was a really intense and exciting experience.”
“For me, being capped in Cub Week was the pinnacle of my cricket achievements as a schoolboy,” Niemand said.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) Franchise Cubs Week sees the SA U19s, along with the six franchise cubs teams and the CSA U17 invitation team meet in a 50-over tournament.
Mnyaka said: “This was my second time being selected and I’m really glad that I got to go back and enjoy this experience again.”
Last year, Hudson first team player Sine Qeshile, along with Mnyaka, played for the South African U19 team.
“It was the experience of a lifetime,” Qeshile said.
“Hearing my name called out at Cubs Week was everything.”
The success of Hudson cricket, however, does not start and end with these talented players.
In 2013, Hudson Park High produced the South African U19 side’s winning opening bowler, Ngazi Sigwili, who now plays franchise cricket for the Warriors.
“I could write a book about everything that has gone into our success,” said first team coach Dave Alers.
“It’s been a complex process of encouragement, discipline and professionalism when it comes to coaching.”
Alers has been coaching first team cricket at Hudson since 1996, having previously played South African schools and university cricket at a provincial level.
Assisting him is former Proteas player Kenny Watson, who works with young cricketers from both Hudson High and Primary.
“The juniors are monitored very closely when they start Grade 8 and we work with them to improve their skills,” Alers said.
The level of expertise and passion the two first team coaches put into the game has allowed the team to soar to great heights.
The current Hudson Park High School first team consists of five players (out of a team of 13) from the EP Warriors U19 team, as well as three players who played Border U17 last year.
The team is also the only side in the Eastern Cape with three South African U19 players.
“Over the years we have really produced very good players and hope to keep doing so,” Alers said.