Photo Credit: Lions Cricket
The Lions Deaf Cricket team won all five of their Inter-Provincial Tournament games, making them the 2023 IPT Champions
The first Interprovincial tournament (IPT) took place in 1992, forming the South Africa Deaf Cricket Association now known as Deaf Cricket South Africa. Lions Deaf Cricket (LDC) currently holds the most IPT trophy’s, with the recent one now adding to the trophy cabinet.
Following several training camps in March and April, Head coach Rajesh Bhana, team manager Dean Thompson and Lions Cricket u16 Head Coach Minenhle Magubane would’ve been well-pleased with their selections.
Hosted by Durbanville Cricket Club at Curro Durbanville High School, the 6 team Inter-Provincial Tournament took place from 28 – 30 April 2023, with the first match against Deaf KwaZulu Natal Cricket. Reduced to 15 overs due to a rain delay, Lions claimed the win by 8 wickets, with man of the match Joseph Ndlovu bagging 2 wickets, in 3 overs, for only 7 runs.
Next was the turn of Deaf Lions Cricket Chairman, Sivesh Poonsamy-Muthoo, who was awarded Man of the Match for his 79 runs off 51 balls, ensuring his team posted an impressive 176/5 in their allotted 20, 122 runs too great for Deaf Northerns Cricket.
On 29 April, Colin Venter performed the unthinkable: 5 wickets in his final over! Deaf Lions Cricket made 134/7 in their rain-reduced 15 overs, with Deaf Boland Cricket falling short at 76/8.
Next up was the current title holders Deaf Titans Cricket. Deaf Lions Cricket posted an impressive 131/3 in their 15 overs, with Poonsamy-Muthoo leading the runs with 62 off 37 inclusive of 2 x 4’s and 5 x 6’s. Titans fell short by 12 runs.
The final game of the 2023 IPT tournament was against Deaf Western Province Cricket, with Deaf Lions Cricket winning the toss and electing to bowl, restricting Province to 65/8, with Venter and Ndlovu taking two wickets each. Lions then cruised to 66/4 in 10.4 overs, with Colin Venter once more being named as Man of the Match.
Following the trophy handover, an awards ceremony took place at Durbanville Cricket Club with Sivesh Poonsamy-Muthoo named as batsman of the tournament as well as Player of the Tournament. The final award of the evening was the naming of the DCSA Ghost Squad which included Deaf Lions Cricket players Sivesh Poonsamy, Colin Venter and Joseph Ndlovu.
Chairperson of Lions Deaf Cricket Sivesh Poonsamy-Muthoo says that none of this would’ve been possible without the outstanding support of Lions Cricket;
“On behalf of the Deaf Lions Cricket members, I would like to thank Lions Cricket for the flights, terrific coaching staff, transport, indoor training facilities and our kit which ensured that we look and are, fully professional. We are extremely proud to play under the Lions Cricket brand. We are also grateful to coaches Rajesh, Dean and Minenhle who gave us their all from start to finish. Lastly, thank you to DCSA (Deaf Cricket South Africa) who supported us through and through.”
Lions Cricket Head of Cricket Services, Reuben Mandlazi says that Deaf Lions Cricket are a team that can hold their heads high, not only with their 5 from 5, but for the way in which they played with courage and confidence, teamwork and fairness, and a love of the game that we so admire;
“These men displayed true sportsmanship and professionalism from the minute they departed Jozi, until they returned with trophy in hand. We are extremely proud of this team and thank them for representing the Lions Pride to the high standards we’ve set and become accustomed to.”
As the sun sets on a hugely successful season at Lions Cricket, the players will rest and then regroup, in celebration once more – this time at the upcoming Lions Cricket Awards evening.