Thando Ntini, the 17-year old son of former South Africa fast bowler Makhaya Ntini, has been selected in South Africa’s squad for the 2018 U-19 World Cup in New Zealand. Ntini is part of the 15-member group that will be captained by Raynard van Tonder.
Like his father Makhaya – who also played one U-19 World Cup – Thando is a right-arm fast bowler and has taken ten wickets in eight youth one-dayers. His breakthrough series was against the touring West Indies U-19 team in July, where he took seven wickets in four matches in what was also his first outing as an U-19 player. Since then, Ntini has been part of the team’s fabric and also played during the recent youth tri-series against England and Namibia.
Wicketkeeper Wandile Makwetu is the only member of the squad to travel for a second World Cup. He was part of the national team in the 2016 tournament in Bangladesh as well.
“I’m confident that we have chosen the combination that will give us the desired results,” Lawrence Mahatlane, the team’s coach, said. “More than half of the squad have semi-professional cricket experience and we even have a franchise player in Matthew Breetzke.”
The U-19 World Cup will be played between January 13 and February 3, with South Africa slotted into Group A. They will open their campaign against Kenya on January 14 in Lincoln. The other teams in Group A are hosts New Zealand and defending champions West Indies.
South Africa U-19 squad: Raynard van Tonder (capt), Matthew Breetzke, Jean du Plessis, Jason Niemand, Gerald Coetzee, Jade de Klerk, Fraser Jones, Wandile Makwetu, Andile Mogakane, Kgaudise Molefe, Thando Ntini, Jiveshen Pillay, Hermann Rolfes, Kenan Smith, Akhona Mnyaka