700 1st XI Cricket Matches: Coach Lefson Interview

Wynberg Boys' High School Cricket

On the milestone occasion of Eric Lefson’s 700th match as 1st XI coach, MIC of Wynberg Cricket, Shaun Hewett asked Mr Lefson to look back over his last 16 seasons:

Your first, 1st XI opponent and year of fixture?

My first game was against St Johns (Harare) in November 1999. I remember it very well for a number of reasons. Wynberg’s coach, Luc Hoefnagels, had just taken a position at Bishops. I remember being called to Mr Richardson’s office and offered the job with the words “I am taking a bit of a risk with you as you have never taken an A team before.”  The St Johns coach was Bill Flower, father of Andy and Grant, and a legend in Zimbabwe. Listening to him talk about cricket afterwards was an education.

The trophies/honours won during your tenure?

Wynberg has made the WP Knock-Out final 11 times winning it on 10 occasions since 2002. We have also been to the national 20/20 finals on 3 occasions, joint highest number of appearances by any school. Although rankings don’t mean much, the teams of 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2012 were ranked number 1 in SA. At the end of the day the most important statistic is that Wynberg has the most players playing club cricket in the WP, which shows a love for the game and a tribute to the ethos of Wynberg Cricket.

Your five most memorable moments as 1st XI coach?

There have been so many but here are a few:

  1. November 2003: we were 20/2 chasing 295 at Bishops when Phillip Haupt and Dominic Telo put on 250 for the 3rd wicket to give Wynberg a 7 wicket victory (our first win against Bishops since 1991).
  2. September 2006: Wynberg toured Pakistan, an awesome experience set up for us by the late Bob Woolmer, who was then their national coach. We played against a private school called Chand Baugh who had a drummer to lead their players onto the field. After a very close game Dalin Oliver got hold of the drum and performed a Wynberg ‘solo’ that had everyone in stitches.
  3. October 2008: playing Grey in Queenstown at Cape Schools we were struggling against a strong side which included a number of SA players. Chad Fortune came to the rescue to bowl them out – we got their score without losing a wicket.
  4. November 2009: facing an unbeaten Bishops team who’d put us in on a yielding wicket – we batted well and declared on 260/7. We then blew them away with a great opening spell from Fortune and Muller and beat them by more than 200 runs.
  5. February 2014: we were having a shocker against Paarl Boys. They needed 150 to win and were 130/3. All of a sudden we got a run out and they collapsed to 147 and we won by 2 runs. I will always remember that 2014 team as the Supera Moras Side: they found a way to win when the situation seemed hopeless.
  6. February 2015: just a few weeks ago our young, inexperienced side pipped a very powerful Rondebosch team to win the WP T20 Knock-Out in the final over, 9 wickets down.

Wynberg Boys' High School Cricket: Eric Lefson 700th match as coach