Taking a crack at the international game

Strandfontein's Aiden Plaatjies.

Strandfontein Cricket Club’s Aiden Plaatjies, 14, will soon get a taste of playing cricket at international level, when he represents the South African under-15 invitational side, in the International Cricket Challenge, in Malaysia, next month.

The all-rounder is among 15 players who were chosen from more than a hundred hopefuls at the trials, at Primrose Cricket Club, in Rosmead Avenue, Kenilworth, in November.

However, they will have their work cut out for them, playing against teams like hosts Malaysia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

The SA invitational side have been hard at work since the beginning of the year. Last weekend, they went down by five wickets in a warm up fixture against Durbanville. This was after the SA invitational side posted 251.

Aidan said his dream of representing his country has finally come true.

“Those trials were not easy because there were more than 100 players all wanting a spot in the final 15. Credit should go to my coach Keanan Mitchell and my parents Edwin and Karen for everything they have done for me and all their support on match day,” said Aiden, whose main goal at the competition is to help South Africa win and to test himself against the countries from the sub-continent.

“It won’t be easy but I am going to make the most of it and put in some good performances with the bat and ball,” he said.

Last month, Aiden made his maiden century for Strandfontein, after scoring 112 runs and helping his side win by three wickets against Ottomans in a Western Province Cricket Association Premier League under-15 clash. The youngster has been having one of his best seasons with the club as he has already scored three 50s this season along with his 100.

But his fondest moment was when he represented the Western Province under-13 invitational side in Bloemfontein, where they were runners up to the Free State.

He was also selected to tour with the WP under-18 team to India this year but he withdrew due to the International Cricket Challenge, in Malaysia. Like many cricketers, Aiden started playing in the backyard before joining Strandfontein at the age of nine.

“My father made me a wooden bat, bought me a tennis ball and then we played against one another. From there on my uncle Derick Rossouw bought me a bat and then I decided to join Strandfontein,” he said.

Co-ordinator and assistant coach Ismail Teladia said the plan is to win the competition, as they have been finalists on six occasions.

“We have participated in the International Cricket Challenge eight times and lost to Sri Lanka on six occasions, in the final.

“Some of our batsmen struggle to play spin but we have worked on our mistakes of previous years.

“Also, we don’t play enough pressure cricket in Cape Town. I believe this year, we can get one over Sri Lanka ,” he said.

What may inspire them is the Proteas’ performances against Sri Lanka. The Proteas won the five match one-day series 5-0 and secured the number one world ranking in the one-day format.

If you would like to assist Aidan, you can call his father Erwin on 078 372 0065