Photo Credit: Supplied

Before the start of the U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup this week, teams came together during vibrant and colourful Captains’ Day in Broedestroom


South Africa (19 January 2024) – The captains of the 16 participating teams at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 were given a true South African welcome on Monday 15 January 2024, as teams relished a vibrant and colourful Captains’ Day in Broederstroom, north of Johannesburg.

The Lesedi Cultural Village hosted the influential youngsters, who were treated to a series of cultural performances by traditional singers and dancers on arrival at the venue before engaging with media and each other amongst a truly unique setting.

The customary captains’ image was taken among the bright, colourful dwellings representative of the Ndebele people of South Africa, whose intricate patterns and artistic charm are admired the world over.

The players also benefitted from an interaction with Anrich Nortje during their visit. The South African international, who was announced as the event ambassador earlier in the day, addressed the group alongside Tournament Director Wanele Mngomezulu, welcoming players to the rainbow nation before sharing insights on what it is like to compete on the world stage.

Captains’ Day marked another milestone in the build-up to the 15th edition of the celebrated event, where more future stars of the sport are set to announce themselves on the world stage later this week.

The action starts today, Friday, 19 January, with hosts South Africa taking on another former champion nation, the West Indies, in Potchefstroom and Ireland facing off against the USA in Bloemfontein.

“It’s brilliant to meet all the young talented cricketers that will be leading their teams in the U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup. It’s great to see their excitement with the tournament approaching and it’s clear that they are all pumped.

“They enjoyed a proper South African welcome today. It’s awesome to see them playing here, especially considering there’s such variety in conditions across the five host venues.

“I’m sure fans will come out and support them for the games, and they’ll all be looking out to try and find the next AB De Villiers or Kagiso Rabada, and this tournament never fails to deliver on special talent.” – Anrich Nortje, ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup event ambassador

These are the thoughts of some of the competing Captains.

South Africa captain Juan James:

“I’m really proud to welcome the other captains here today. Seeing them all embracing a South African experience helps build the excitement a little bit more and I can’t wait for the games to begin now.”

“I’m sure they’re all going to enjoy the experience of playing here over the next three to four weeks in front of our passionate cricket loving fans.”

Pakistan captain Saad Baig:

“I’ve really enjoyed being at the venue and experiencing the traditional music today. Meeting and listening to Anrich Nortje was also a confidence booster.

“We’ve had a great experience in the country so far: true pitches, lush outfields, brilliant facilities and friendly people.

“We’re pumped to start. We have done our homework and now it’s time to deliver.”

England captain Ben McKinney:

“It was really good to receive a real South African welcome. It’s my first time in the country and we’ve been well looked after since arriving. It’s been a really positive experience so far.

“We’re excited about getting going on Saturday against Scotland. It will be a great occasion and while our first practice match didn’t go the way we planned, we took a lot from it and the boys will be focused when we take to the field in that first game.”

Nepal captain Dev Khanal:

“What I really enjoyed was the welcome we received at Captains Day. It was great fun meeting the other 15 captains and it was a real highlight meeting Anrich Nortje, spending some time with him and hearing him talk about his experiences.

“I’m super excited for the World Cup and looking forward to representing my country on the world stage.”

Australia captain Hugh Weibgen:

“It was an awesome experience being here today for Captains’ Day. Getting to see the South African culture through some of the singing and dancing…it was a great welcome.

“We’re really excited and looking forward to the first games. Me and the boys have been training well over the last few days and we’re really keen to get into it.

“Meeting Anrich as well was awesome. Obviously, he’s one of the world’s best fast bowlers, and I took a lot from what he had to say.”

Bangladesh captain Mahfuzur Rahman Rabby:

“I think it was one of the most interesting pre-event experiences I have had with all then captains assembling. Suddenly you feel a different sense of pride and responsibility as the captain of your country. Also, I felt like ‘this is it, the World Cup is on!’.

“It was such a privilege to meet Anrich Nortje in person and to listen to him. He is one of the most exciting fast bowlers in world cricket and his interaction was very inspiring.”

Sri Lanka captain Sineth Jayawardana:

“It was a great experience where I was able to join in with the other captains, who have come from different countries and backgrounds, thus giving me the opportunity to meet them all in one place, mingle, and talk a few words before we go into the big competition.”

“As a youngster, I really enjoyed this opportunity, which is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of a group that are emerging leaders of the game.”

Sources: Press Release
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