South Africa unveils roster for WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup

South Africa unveils roster for WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup
07/10/2022
Tidima Kekana, who handled most of the workload of the South African pitching staff in the last two World Cups in 2017 and 2019, is set to play his fifth World Cup and will be the veteran voice in the dugout.

World No. 11 South Africa unveiled their roster for the upcoming WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup, slated for 26 November to 4 December in Auckland, New Zealand. 

Tidima Kekana, who handled most of the workload of the South African pitching staff in the last two World Cups in 2017 and 2019, is set to play his fifth World Cup and will be the veteran voice in the South African dugout. The 37-year-old pitcher will share the pitching duties with Grant Oliver, Manhlane Manaka - who represented South Africa in the World Cup 2019 - and lefty Lucas Lamola - who recorded a win at the Junior Men’s Softball World Cup in 2018 with a 2.53 ERA.

Seven of the 16 players (Isaiah Chepape, Matsobane Hlanga, Kekana, Manaka, Sehlabi Molokoane, Phomolo Phaladi and Moagu Thupudi) represented South Africa in the 2019 Men’s Softball World Cup and helped the team to finish in 12th position.

South Africa qualified for the World Cup after winning the African Championship in February this year. South Africa finished the round robin in second place, with two wins against Kenya and two losses against Botswana, who reached the final after going undefeated in the double round robin.

However, on the final day South Africa topped Kenya, 20-0, in three innings, in the semifinal. And the host team grabbed the continental title and the only available spot in the World Cup with a 5-3 victory against arch-rivals Botswana. 

This will be South Africa’s 11th participation in the Men’s Softball World Cup. In five editions they finished in the top-10, including a seven-place finish in Lower Hutt, New Zealand in 1976, their best performance in this event.