Geoffrey Toyana oversaw the progression of Quinton de Kock‚ Kagiso Rabada‚ Aaron Phangiso‚ Chris Morris‚ Temba Bavuma‚ Hardus Viljoen‚ Stephen Cook‚ Dwaine Pretorius and Eddie Leie to the Proteas. With this past season seeing the inclusion of Mangaliso Mosehle.
Even more impressive is that Toyana and the bizhub Highveld Lions have produced four Black African players in the form of Phangiso‚ Bavuma‚ Leie and Mosehle that has helped in the transformation drive.
Rabada has established himself as world’s bests. Cook and Bavuma have cemented their spots in the Test side while Phangiso and Pretorius are key member of the limited overs sides.
Producing players for the Proteas is good for the national team but Toyana said it sometimes affects their depth when those players are not available which was evident this past season.
“This season was a learning curve to move forward. I believe this side can play together for the next 3/4 years.”
“Looking back a season or two ago we were once a team blessed with a serious bowling attack, to get three guys bowling at over 140km/h in one unit is unheard of in franchise cricket and it held us in good stead. And we had four or five batsmen who had played Test cricket or were averaging over 40. We are on a comeback with these youngsters”
Toyana believes the likes of Carmi le Roux, Wiaan Mulder, Bjorn Fortuin and Nicky van den Berg amongst others also have the capability of reviving domestic honours.
“Giving these kids an opportunity is a positive. Our depth is showing nicely now. It's important that we back these young guys and make sure they are the future of Lions cricket and Cricket SA as well. This season was a learning curve to move forward. I believe this side can play together for the next 3/4 years.”