World Cup winning coach Gary Kirsten praises opportunity NSL gives to youngsters

Denzil Pinto 14:28 07/12/2014
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NSL fan: Gary Kirsten believes the National School League will help players to enhance their skills in a competitive environment.

Gary Kirsten had nothing but praise for the Sport360° National School League, while ECB chief David East is pleased that players have embraced the competition.

During the final round of matches last weekend, Kirsten himself was conducting a special two-day clinic at 7he Sevens in Dubai, a few metres away from the NSL action.

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Having coached India to World Cup glory in 2011, Kirsten knows what it takes to succeed in cricket and he spoke glowingly of the NSL.

He said: “It’s vital that the children play a lot of games and we are very fortunate in South Africa to have a very strong school sports structure. And to have this type of tournament can only help the players to enhance their skills and prove the talent that they have. And to do that in match situations is very important.”

East is delighted to see many aspiring players enjoy the NSL in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.

“The fact that NSL is played around the country can only be a good thing,” he said.

“There is an opportunity for players to play in a competitive environment and opportunity for players to shine.

“Whether they’re still in the competition or not, hopefully they will move on in the future and be a more competitive player.”

East also had some advice for all the teams whether they’ve progressed further in the competition or not.

“Keep enjoying the tournament and keep playing the game in the true spirits of cricket,” he added.

“We hope the experience has been good for everyone who has taken part.”

Meanwhile, Sam Charnley, an ICC schools programme and experience officer, who oversaw pre-tournament training sessions says he has witnessed a vast improvement on match days.

He said: “The games have been played in the right spirit and the standard and quality of the games is very high.

“It’s been nice to keep a track of where the boys have been heading. The pathway is there and this is a stage where they can get recognised and gives them an opportunity to work hard and improve year on year.”

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