Coetzee's fitness for next year's World Cup not a concern‚ says SA Under-19 coach Mahatlane

10 December 2019 - 15:29 By Khanyiso Tshwaku
Talented paceman Gerald Coetzee is quietly making a name for himself on the domestic circuit.
Talented paceman Gerald Coetzee is quietly making a name for himself on the domestic circuit.
Image: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

South Africa's Under-19 coach Lawrence Mahatlane said Gerald Coetzee's fitness for next year's Under-19 Cricket World Cup isn't a concern.

The talented young pacemen‚ who has already made waves at franchise level for the Knights‚ pulled up with a hamstring issue in a Mzansi Super League game for the Jozi Stars against the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants last month.

South Africa's Under-19 Cricket World Cup squad was unveiled at Cricket South Africa's headquarters in Melrose Estate and they will be captained by Bryce Parsons

“Gerald has worked hard. He ran a 2km time trial the other day and he's on track. We're hoping by the time the quadrangular series starts‚ he'll be 100 percent.

"Given the injury he had‚ he's not going to play in next week's round of four-day matches and he'll join us in East London‚” Mahatlane said

SA's Under-19's have had a rough time of it in the past year.

They were whitewashed in a seven-match series against Pakistan in June and July while they were well beaten by India on tour earlier this year.

SA open their World Cup account against Afghanistan in Kimberley on January 17.

They are also in Group D‚ where they've got matches against Canada and the United Arab Emirates.

While Mahatlane is hoping for a play-off spot‚ the team's growth has been the important part for Mahatlane.

“18 months ago‚ we won a series in England. If you think of India‚ it was a tough tour and it always is for any team. Pakistan had a Test opening bowler in their team and for young players‚ it's about growth.

"The good thing about this program is how quickly players can grow‚” Mahatlane said.

“The biggest thing for us is just exposing the kids. If you look at the games against the Emerging Sides‚ they had guys like Wandile Makwetu and Dayyaan Gallium.

"When you play against guys who've been around‚ you then start adjusting to the fact that you're no longer playing school cricket.

"It's not only about surviving the good bowler and cashing in‚ but it's about how can I start scoring off good balls? I think we've improved in that regard.”