Salieg Nackerdien praises team efforts after a successful 2023/24 season

NEWLANDS – Following a successful 2023/24 season for the World Sports Betting Western Province Men, the Head Coach has reflected on what it took to build on the past.

Nackerdien’s charges finished the season with a win percentage of 57% which was a big climb from the previous seasons. 

Having won the CSA One Day Cup at the start of the season the team also finished as runners up ion the CSA 4-Day Series and had a good start to the CSA T20 Challenge.

He says that the build up to the season was one of the key factors that got the team to the brand of cricket they wanted to play.

“The winter leading up to the season was a positive start for the brand of cricket the team wanted to implement and all I wanted was for the players to express themselves and show their skills on the field. We had opportunities to play against the [Dafabet] Warriors, [Gbets] Rocks and Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers up in Oudtshoorn and that started the success story being able to go and Win the One Day Cup and going unbeaten along the way,” said Nackerdien. 

“All the players involved really took ownership and understood what was required to become a championship team”.

The season for the World Sports Betting Newlands based side started off with a bang in the One Day Cup campaign having managed to obtain a 100% winning record ending the season on 30 points.

Nackerdien appointed Kyle Verreynne as the new One Day Cup captain, and he led from the front in the opening game against the North West Dragons powering his way to 101 off 65 balls leading the side to victory at the JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom.

With the competition progressing, multiple players put up their hands with match winning performances with both bat and ball. Tony De Zorzi and David Bedingham both knocking centuries and Nandre Burger claiming a 6-wicket haul highlighted the way the competition was going.

Although there were multiple performances the stand out of the season was Mihlali Mpongwana moving to a maiden century in the final of the competition when the team faced the Dragons for a second time. 

The partnership between Mpongwana and Verreynne 111(103) got the side over the line and restored the club’s faith by lifting its first trophy in nearly 10 years.

Nackerdien praised the teams’ efforts in achieving this goal.

“Winning the One Day Cup the guys put in the hard work to get into the final but everyone that came into the side put up their hands and proved their worth by putting in performances and that led into the rest of the season,” he said. 

Taking that momentum into the 4-Day Series the team was motivated to build on the ODC success which saw them end runners up after going to the fifth and final day of the 4-Day Series final against the DP World Lions at DP World Wanderers.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t get over the line against the Lions and that saw us only play three good days of cricket where they managed to take their chances in the final stages of the game. But in the end, it was a fantastic 4-Day campaign that we can all be proud of and improve on going into the new season.”

The CSA T20 challenge saw some mixed performances going into the latter stages of the season and Nackerdien is aware of the challenges the side faces when it comes to the shortest format.

“The last two T20 competitions we were not great but there was some improvement this season. We can acknowledge there is a lot of work to be done in this format and that will be a focus going forward,” Nackerdien added.

The season also saw a handful of WP Men called up to Proteas squads. Uncapped left arm fast bowler Nandre Burger was included in all three formats during the India inbound tour. 

Bedingham earned his maiden Test call-up as well as de Zorzi retaining his place in the Test team with Mpongwana placed in the ODI and T20 set up

Kyle Verreynne and Beuran Hendricks made returns to the ODI and T20 set up with the left armer not having played international cricket since 2021 and Verreynne no stranger to the international scene.

It didn’t end there, Bedingham, Mpongwana and Dane Paterson then went on to be called to the Test squad to face New Zealand earlier this year where Bedingham brought up his maiden Test century.

Nackerdien congratulated his players who made their mark in earning call ups for the 23/24 season.

“I’m pleased to see the players being rewarded with call ups during the season. It’s always nice to see them getting rewarded for the performances they put in,” continues Nackerdien. 

“I’m particularly proud of Nandre and Tony who put in great performances for the Proteas and want them to go from strength to strength going forward.”

“To see players from Western Province get the recognition for their consistency over two to three seasons is very pleasing and we want to see more players from our side push for higher honours and become a feeder for the national teams”.