Central Gauteng Lions turnaround strategy and plans bearing fruits.
In line with the entities strategic mission to advance and transform cricket in Central Gauteng, four strategic objectives formed the core of the turnaround plan - the creation of quality winning teams, ensuring club and school cricket thrive, maintenance of the stadium’s iconic reputation and continued growth of its fan base while offering best fan experience.
A look at the current performance against set objectives revealed startling results.
Creating quality winning teams
Central Gauteng Lions appointed the new coaching staff for the bizhub Highveld Lions lead by Thabiso Enoch Nkwe and assisted by Wandile Gwavu. The bizhub Highveld Lions recently won the CSA 4-day Domestic Series trophy. Several players were called up for national duties: Kagiso Rabada, Temba Bavuma, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Wiaan Mulder, Dwaine Pretorius and Rassie van der Dussen.
In September 2018, Central Gauteng Lions won the 2018 Africa T20 Cup led by Temba Bavuma, Mangaliso Mosehle and Nono Pongolo.
Jozi Stars, managed by the Central Gauteng Lions, won the inaugural Mzansi Super League tournament in December 2018.
Ensuring club and school cricket thrive
While significant investment and efforts continued on building the Central Gauteng cricket pipeline, the Central Gauteng team defended the U/19 Coca-Cola Khaya Majola week with Cameroon Shekleton, Kgaudise Molefe, Bryce Parsons and Tumelo Yeki leading the pack under the guidance of the newly appointed coach, Siya Sibiya.
The following players were selected to the national teams at the conclusion of the week: Cameron Shekleton (SA Schools), Bryce Parsons (SA Schools), Kgaudise Molefe (SA Schools), Tumelo Yeki (SA Colts) and Emmanuel Motswiri (SA Colts).
Lions Franchise participated in the Cubs week in Stellenbosch from the 3rd to the 7th of January 2019. Kgaudise Molefe and Bryce Parsons were selected to represent SA U/19 on their tour to India.
The Central Gauteng Lions continued to foster its relationship with Wits University and University of Johannesburg. The partnership included bursaries sponsorship, mentorship and high quality cricket coaching with the focus on enhancing both academic and on-field performance. Young players like Tumelo Tlhokwe and Joshua Richards were among those selected to be part of this programme.
Women’s cricket continued to grow in leaps and bounds both at junior and senior level. Young talented girls took part in various cricket festivals across the country with good results achieved all around.
A number of players were invited to attend the Women’s National Camp from the 6th to the 11th of January 2019: Nonkululeko Thabethe, Robyn Searle, Trisha Chetty, Yolani Fourie, Raisibe Ntozakhe Ayabonga Khaka and Shabnim Ismail. Two players were invited to attend the National Academy scheduled to take place from the 2nd June 2019 to the 2nd of August 2019 (Nonkululeko Thabethe and Robyn Searle).
In October/November 2018, 4-provincial teams were selected after closely contested trials to represent Gauteng at various Momentum Cricket Weeks held at various parts of the country. U/13A – hosted in Benoni saw mixed performances from the team with few victories. U/15A – were hosted in Stellenbosch and played very good cricket with the team losing 1 match out of the 6 and 1 match rained out. U/17A – put in some brave performances in Durban with the team losing 2 closely contested matches out of the 6 matches.
The appointment of Reuben Mandlazi as the new Central Gauteng Lions cricket services manager was aligned to the efforts of strengthening cricket pipeline development.
Maintenance of the stadium’s iconic reputation
Central Gauteng Lions appointed one of the leading grounds curators in the country (Mr. Evan Flint) with the aim to maintain the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium iconic reputation. This was at the back of a substantial investment spent on upgrading stadium facilities and infrastructure including the upgrade of the media centre, lifts, seating, sun zone, scoreboard and nets amongst other facilities.
Grow fan base and offer best fan experience
Central Gauteng Lions implemented an integrated brand campaign (#JoinTheCharge) that sought to align the three Central Gauteng brands – bizhub Highveld Lions, Central Gauteng Lions Strikers and Central Gauteng Lions board.
Looking ahead for the remainder of the 2018/19 cricket season
Central Gauteng Lions will continue implementing the adopted turnaround strategy and offer best fan experience throughout all remaining domestic and international matches.