The recently launched ‘Proteas Friday’ has not rallied the massive support for the South African cricket team that was expected from students.
In comparison to “Football Friday” during the 2010 Soccer World Cup, where there was overwhelming support, there was hardly a green Proteas Shirt in sight on Wits campus and the surrounding student areas of Braamfontein.
The chairperson of the Wits Cricket team, Zain Fredericks, has attributed the lack of support for ‘Proteas Friday’ to the unpopularity of cricket among the majority of students and the youth, in comparison to football.
He said, “We had hoped for more support for the national cricket team, but you can’t really control people’s sport preferences. Also, I think because the Cricket World Cup is not in South Africa, as the Soccer World Cup was, so we don’t see that much interest in it. Also, there are not too many opportunities to make money from it.”
Third Team captain Michael Halley said, “Wits administration is doing its best because it provides quality facilities such as well-prepared pitches and enough resources for players and other students to engage cricket and learn more about it.”
Holland, Ireland, Kenya and Canada played their qualifying matches at Wits and students had the opportunity to watch and later play with some of teams. Hosting the qualifiers at Wits served cricket-loving students with entertainment and a platform to meet their cricket heroes.
Fredericks and Halley would like to see support for cricket improve, especially the focus on ‘Proteas Friday’, which boosts the chances of The Proteas coming out as World Cup victors if the whole nation is behind them.
The 1st and 2nd cricket teams train on Walter Milton Oval A and B (bottom of East Campus) on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4pm, while the 3rd and 4th teams practise at the same time on Mondays and Wednesdays at Sturrock Park (West Campus.) All Witsies are welcome to watch and learn more.