The role of the Provincial Academy structure is to ensure a smooth transition for identified cricketers leaving school and to prepare them for the next phase of the CSA Cricket Pipeline, namely the Senior Provincial and Professional levels.
The programme is intended to create a learning environment of excellence through the holistic development of cricketers under the age of 23 in both cricket and formal education or vocational training.
A Provincial Academy structure has five primary outcomes:
- Improved cricket skill development;
- Improved tactical awareness;
- Formal educational or vocational training qualification;
- Career Planning and Life Skills development; and
- Talent identification and retention.
The following are its secondary outcomes:
- Holistic development of the identified players at provincial level based on the principle that “Better players make better Proteas”;
- A structured talent identification and development programme;
- The retention of these identified players within each Affiliate or Associate;
- An Academy system that encourages young players to study and or enter the workplace while playing cricket during the “bottle neck” period;
- Qualified individuals who are better prepared for their transition out of cricket irrespective of the level from which they make the transition out of CSA’s Pipeline Strategy;
- Tools that reveal their true talent as leaders and people – life skills;
- Opportunity to reveal their talent as cricketers;
- Improved support structure; and
- Improved coaching system.
The Gauteng Cricket Academy was started in June 2011. The focus of the academy is to empower the young cricketers and develop them into professional cricketers, and to produce cricketers for the Central Gauteng Lions Semi-Professional team and bizhub Highveld Lions. It is an opportunity for up and coming cricketers to work on theirs techniques, fitness and life skills. The academy runs for a period of three months, which takes them straight into pre-season with their respective teams. It is held at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium.
During the 2016/2017 season, Wandile Gwavu was named the Franchise Academy coach and the Lions' Franchise Academy team won the Franchise Academy Week.
Siyabonga Sibiya replaced Wandile Gwavu, who became the bizhub Highveld Lions Assistant Coach, in the 2018/2019 season. Siya has previously coached the WP U15 and U17 and was also the fitness and conditioning coach for the WP U19A team.