The NMMU-Madibaz premier league cricket team set themselves up for another good season when they won the T20 Mayoral Cup title against Old Grey at the weekend.
Under coach Corbyn Dolley, the Mecer-Madibaz are aiming to retain the Nelson Mandela Bay premier league title as well as targeting a strong performance in the University Sport South Africa (USSA) week.
At the start of the season, Madibaz players formed the bulk of the Eastern Province side which took the title in the Africa Cup T20 competition.
Dolley described that triumph as a “monumental effort” and said the region could not have asked for a better start to the season.
“It’s been a while since EP or the Warriors have managed to win a trophy in a national competition so it speaks volumes for the group of cricketers who were part of that squad.”
The Madibaz coach said that sort of success could rub off on the club’s performances in various competitions.
“From a Madibaz point of view, it’s no secret we haven’t produced the goods as far as silverware is concerned in recent times.
“Success in a tournament of this nature further enhances the club’s culture and commitment to achieve excellence both on a local and national level.”
Dolley joined the Madibaz towards the end of last year as an assistant coach, with the aim to ensure they continue to make an impact in South African cricket.
“My brief is to work alongside respective coaches, trainers and management to ensure the holistic development of our student-athletes by providing quality service,” he said.
“We want the club to remain one of the leading cricket institutions and a beacon for cricket, both in the Eastern Cape and South Africa.”
A provincial allrounder in his day, Dolley is no longer plying his trade as a cricketer and is keen to make things work at NMMU, having come through the varsity system.
“I’m privileged to be serving the club from the other side of the boundary rope,” he said. “I’m here to serve the players and cricket.
“Essentially you want the players to be hungrier, even after they have some success.
“At Mecer-Madibaz we pride ourselves on being leaders, not only on the field but off it as well.”
He said they were blessed with a promising group of cricketers, which would ensure that competition within the club remained healthy.
“We are constantly striving to raise the bar both in our performances and in the way we prepare. I must commend the guys for their fantastic attitude and commitment, despite all the uncertainty and disruption.”
The Madibaz confirmed their potential against Old Grey in the T20 final on Sunday when they dismissed their opponents for 98, with Brad Haller, Stefan Tait and Odwa Xonxa taking two wickets each.
Vian Maritz (24) and Lloyd Brown (36 not out) then shrugged off the loss of an early wicket to ensure a comfortable win for the students.