One of SA’s cricket legends of the 1990s, the Eastern Province and Proteas all-rounder Dave Callaghan, has been given the nod to captain the South African over-50s squad in the upcoming World Cup.
The tournament will be played in Cape Town in March this year and is being sponsored by Evergreen Lifestyle (evergreenlifestyle.co.za).
The 54-year-old Callaghan will take charge of a strong 16-man squad which includes six former internationals and 15 players with first-class or List ‘A’ experience, including ‘regular’ World Cup veteran Jonty Rhodes and Western Province stalwart Alan Dawson, who picked up over 20 international caps.
Callaghan played 146 first-class matches for EP and Griquas, in addition to 29 ODIs for South Africa in which he famously scored 169 not out opening the batting against New Zealand at Centurion in 1994. In that same match he also claimed 3-32 to make absolutely certain of the man-of-the-match award in that ODI.
“It’s a fantastic honour to be playing for an official South African team again. None of us imagined we would get this chance, especially a World Cup,” said Callaghan.
“We have a strong team on paper and, I can assure you, the boys are already putting in extra work and loading up on their game time to make sure we’re in the best shape possible in March – and as good on grass as well as paper.”
Callaghan still plays for Old Grey CC in Port Elizabeth, although his legendary medium-pacers have now settled into more sedate off-spinners.
“There is generally a bit more spin bowled in Over-50 cricket but most of us can still hit the ball as well as we did a few years ago. We were all very competitive sportsmen in our prime and that doesn’t change, but the spirit and camaraderie will be even better. Being over 50 doesn’t make you ‘old’!” added Callaghan.
The squad will be coached by former South African great fast bowler Allan Donald who, but for injury, would have played. Louis Koen, Pieter Strydom and Henry Williams complete the international half-dozen.
Australia are the defending Over-50 champions, having defeated Pakistan by just three runs in a tense final in Sydney in 2018.
The tournament features 12 teams and will be played at various venues in and around Cape Town leading up to a showcase final at Newlands on 24 March 2020.
SA Over-50 Squad
- Jonty Rhodes
- Dave Callaghan (capt)
- Louis Koen
- Alan Dawson
- Pieter Strydom
- Kenny Jackson
- Dave Holgate
- Anwell Newman
- Neil Fusedale
- Rodney Malamba
- Mlungisi ‘Lefty’ Ngece
- Dave Duncan
- Warne Rippon
- Brad Player
- Nazeem White
- Henry Williams
Coach Allan Donald
Manager Roy Meeser
Physio Marc Naidoo
Main pic: Dave Callaghan/YouTube/SABC