JP Duminy, South Africa’s legendary left-hander, who announced his retirement from all forms of cricket last month, will return to the crease in Cape Town this weekend with other SA Legends. Meyrick Pringle and Brett Schultz have all been ambassadors of the Sasfin Cape Town Sixes and will also host coaching clinics for previously disadvantaged players from Masimphumelele in Noordhoek.
The Sasfin Cape Town Sixes, Africa’s biggest sixes tournament brings together 100 teams and takes place over three days this Friday to Sunday, February 14 to 16, at new venue The Western Province Cricket Club. The event’s highlights are JP Duminy playing on Saturday, and on Sunday the much-anticipated charity match in which the ’SA Legends XI’ take on ’Sasfin Hit Poverty For A Six Celebrities’ to raise money for charity.
Ryan Christian, #HitPovertyForASix Founder, explains, “It excites me that in all the work we’re doing, we are always just one ball or one stroke away from discovering a cricket legend in the making. The initiative brings previously disadvantaged young players to the festival for coaching and net sessions in the hope that they’ll be discovered. Post the festival the search continues, with the legends giving up the time for more coaching clinics around the country. In addition, development teams play in all sporting codes of the tournament.” Christian continues “We are so grateful that Sasfin has come on board and embraced the #HitPovertyForASix project, this year we are able to enable hundreds of children to enjoy the competition.”
One of the beneficiaries of the funds from the event is, The MCC Masi Sports Project (https://www.masicorp.org/mccmasi750.html) this is run by Vince van der Bijl, a cricket Legend in his own right, who leads the project within the Masiphumelele community. “We share the same vision and this is to uplift children and change lives through sport and life skills, the project now reaching thousands of young players,” concludes Ryan Christian, Founder of #HitPovertyForASix.
Duminy explains further, “There are so many kids out there that need our help, to create opportunities and make better choices. Sport has the power to open doors and teach them important life skills – working as a team, respect for others, giving your best in a particular skill, the ability to bounce back from defeat, and more.”
This year a hand full of talented junior cricketers will be award private coaching lessons and have some mentoring from the Sasfin Cape Town Sixes ambassadors at the Western Province Cricket Academy. Allan Donald who normally attends the coaching sessions adds, “Over the last few years, we have discovered some real talent in these coaching clinics. So it’s not how good you are, it’s how good do you want to be? If you think you’ve got talent but you’re shy and don’t think you can make it, come to the Sixes and come and discover yourself.“
Duminy’s JP Foundation, founded in 2015, is dedicated to revitalising the game of cricket in underdeveloped communities and schools, riddled by gang violence and substance abuse. Learners are encouraged to stay in school, and the program has seen kids improving their social behaviour and academic work rate.
“If we set a good example, we will see greater success in the next generation. We need communities to come together, to understand that it’s our responsibility to teach a culture of inclusivity, of respect, and giving kids opportunities to live out their dreams,” Duminy says.
Michael Sassoon, Group CEO at Sasfin, explains “JP and so many well-known cricket heroes making the time to show support, embodies the purpose of the Sixes – a commitment to uplifting communities and the development of talent.”
Aside the main highlights, there is a Juniors tournament on Friday, while on Saturday and Sunday, there’s a women’s and men’s 6-a-side Soccer League, two Social Cricket leagues, Corporate Cup, and for the first time a new Tag Rugby League, where the selection community will be selecting a tag rugby squad to represent South Africa in the 2021 Tag Rugby World Cup.