Mr and Mrs Noor Arbee with past and present EXCO members and players cutting the 70th anniversary celebratory cake.
One of the oldest cricket clubs in the province, Railways Cricket Club, celebrated its 70th anniversary at a glittering ceremony hosted at the Palace Conference Centre on Saturday.
Keynote speakers, Daniel Govender and Advocate Rajesh Sookhay, both vice-chairmen of the KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union, were full of praise for the club’s contribution to the sport, not only in Tongaat, but the province as well.
Programme director and former player/coach at the club, Devan Govender, spoke passionately about the players of yesteryear who were perhaps born at the wrong time, if not would have had the opportunity of representing the country because of their outstanding cricketing abilities.
These included the names of Marlon Valaitham and Tongaat’s ‘Mr Cricket’, Noor Arbee.
Railways can proudly boast three junior teams and four senior teams this season, and like most teams, the belief is that this nursery will bear senior players of note in the future.
Perhaps one of Railways’ greatest exports is Hashim Amla, who not only was a junior at the club, but had as his first coach, Devan Naidoo himself.
Watch out for the names of Asande Nwayose and Nirav Maharaj who will compete for the highest honours in the not too distant future.
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These youngsters’ cricketing prowess has seen them earn scholarships to Kearnsney College and Northwood Boys respectively.
Chairman at Railways, Anthony Chellan, spoke of the fourth industrial revolution, the technological age, which threatens to draw children away from the playgrounds, making them slaves to the television, cellphones and the computer monitor.
He urged parents to become more involved in their children’s lives via sport.
In addition to the 70th anniversary celebration was the launch of the 70th anniversary brochure which encapsulates seven decades of history at Railways.
Highlights of the evening included the presentation of awards for player and team performances over the 2017/2018 cricketing season.
The coveted Junior Player of the Season award went to Shravaan Maharaj, while the Senior Cricketer of the Year was Trishane Pillay.