VACANCY: KZN INLAND CRICKET U16 BOYS HEAD COACH

KZN Inland Cricket is looking for a likely candidate to fill the position of Head Coach of the KZN Inland U16 boys age-group squads.

The role of the Head Coach is to develop and implement a high-performance coaching programme with the support of the Provincial Coach Education Manager for the Under 16 Age Group squads.

The primary purpose for the position is to have a positive impact in the preparation and coaching of both squad cricketers with the intent of enhancing the individual performance of the identified players.

KEY JOB OUTPUTS – PURPOSE OF THE JOB
The incumbent will be responsible amongst other things for the following key delivery areas:
•To develop the cricket specific components of the Player Performance Plan for identified cricketers.
•To Coordinate the interventions for the identified players as part of the Personal Development Plans of a cricketer.
•To guide the selection panel in the selection of the Provincial Under 16 training squad.
•To lead the identification of talent within National, Provincial or Franchise pipeline structures.

 

Shane Burger is one of KZN Inland Cricket’s favourite sons. Shane captained the senior team and went on to establish himself as a highly regarded international coach.

 

KEY DELIVERY AREA  1
To develop the cricket specific components of the Player Performance Plan (PPP) for identified cricketers.
•Manage the planning process and ensuring that each identified cricketer has a plan aligned to the deliverables of the PPP.
•Work closely with the Provincial Coach Education Manager to establish and approve the planned outcomes of the PPP for each identified cricketer.
•Ensuring that support systems and structures for the identified cricketers are enhanced to sustain adequate individual performance standards.
•Outline performance expectations to the identified cricketers as well as his coach (i.e. school, club, Hub, etc.).
•Establish regular performance reviews and assessment of the identified cricketers.

 

Former Hilton College all-rounder Michael Booth captained his school first XI as well as KZN Inland U19 in his grade 12 year, which also included impressive performances for the KZN Inland senior team. Photo Martin Ashworth.

 

KEY DELIVERY AREA 2
To Coordinate the interventions for the identified players as part of the Personal Development Plans of a cricketer.
•Ensure that an adequate needs analysis is conducted on each identified cricketer covering the following developmental aspects:
▪Physical (Physiological conditioning and Nutritional status).
▪Cricket Skills (Technical, Tactical and playing exposure).
▪Medical (Injury or illness).
▪Psychological (Socio-Psychological health and Mental Performance).
▪Socio-Culture (School Education, Post School Activities, Support networks, Socio-Economic status and Team Environment).
•Ensuring that adequate specialists are available to be assigned for the intervention measures with the support of the Provincial Coach Education Manager.
•Ensuring that regular communication and reporting with relevant stakeholders takes place (i.e. pipeline and other coaches, parents, specialists, etc.).

 

Mondli Khumalo and Jayden Gengan are both products of the Maritzburg College and KZN Inland pipeline.

 

KEY DELIVERY AREA 3
To guide the selection panel in the selection of the Provincial Under 16 squad.
•To develop and implement structures within the province that can sustain talent identification aligned to the provincial pipeline structural requirements.
•To ensure that there is support and understanding of the programme undertaken by the key role players within the Provincial Schools’ cricket system through the assistance of Youth Cricket Coordinator/Cricket Services Manager.
•To work closely with the coaches of the identified cricketers within the squad by ensuring that the individual deliverable plans are supported and actioned.
•Introducing benchmark performance required to be attained by identified cricketers for each cricket discipline.

 

Former Westville Boys’ High star Luke Schlemmer is now an integral part of the KZN Inland senior team.

 

KEY DELIVERY AREA 4
To lead the identification of talent within the National, Provincial or Franchise pipeline structures.
•To play a key role in the preparation and coaching of the selected Provincial Under 19 squad.
•To conduct off-season coaching programmes and camps.
•Prepare player reviews for implementation as per the PPP.
•To manage the identifying of talent for the franchise region talent camps and potential cricketers for the Cubs XI.

KEY JOB KNOWLEDGE REQUIREMENTS
•Understanding the Player Performance Plan.
•Be able to Coach and Identify talent.
•Be able to evaluate and prepare training programmes to meet the needs of the identified cricketer.
•Be able to evaluate and monitor progress.
•Understanding the various coaching styles.
•Understanding of the CSA Long Term Player Development process.
•Knowledge of the domestic cricket systems.
•Understanding of the challenges of BA players within the CSA pipeline.
•Basic Mentoring principles.

 

Former Maritzburg College first XI captain Jacques van der Walt is one of many talented cricketers to have represented KZN Inland at age-group level.

 

KEY ATTRIBUTES
•Development & nurturing focus.
•Conscientious
•Results focused.
•Integrity.
*Self-motivated & high work ethic.
•Deadline Driven (Critical).
•Confidentiality.
•Persuasive.
•Resilient.

QUALIFICATIONS
•Minimum Level 3 Coaching Qualification, plus:
•Played Cricket at First Class Level will be an advantage.
•Driver’s Licence with own vehicle.

EXPERIENCE
•More than 3-years’ credible coaching experience of elite cricketers.

REPORTING TO
•The Cricket Services Manager.

 

KZN10.com website and social media thanks the outstanding #HalfwayToyota Howick dealership and its general manager, Maritzburg College Old Boy Brandon Brokensha, for their support. I cannot do this alone. Contact me at joncookroy@gmail.com for info on the various advertising options and more. Together we are more. And why not give Brandon a call at 083 514 1089.

 

APPLICATIONS
Suitably qualified candidates  are  invited  to apply  for the  position by  submitting  an application together with a comprehensive CV, certified copies of applicant’s South African ID, Valid RSA Driver’s Licence,  Valid  CSA  Level  III Coaching  Accreditation  qualification, Valid  Police  Clearance and  other appropriate qualifications  relating to the post,  and at least  two contactable  references,  to: Jason Sathiaseelan: jasons@cricket.co.za by the close of business on Monday, 28th June 2021.

In making the final selection
*
Consideration will be given to the employment equity objectives of KZN Cricket.
*A performance agreement shall be entered into with  the successful applicant.
*The right not to make an appointment is reserved.
*Should you not be contacted within 30 days of the closing date, you may consider that your application is unsuccessful.

 

Jonathan Cook of KZN10.com website and social media thanks Hilton College Old Boy Rory Smith of Absolute Containers for sponsoring these 2 wonderful Powerbanks to ensure that Jono and his smartphone remain fully charged when it really matters!!! Thank you, dear Absolute Containers! No wonder you are the trendsetters in customised containers and modular solutions! Take a look https://absolutecontainers.co.za/

All-Time Test match cricket XI’s and an All-Time KZN Schools Test match XI

How do you pick the ultimate Test cricket team from a cast of incredibly talented performers that must run into the hundreds who have excelled over the ages?

To coincide with the World Test Championship final that is currently taking place between India and New Zealand in Southampton, former England opening batsman and media pundit Geoffrey Boycott had a go in a recent article in The Telegraph and backed up his reasons why.

Feature photo: Gary Sobers of the West Indies. Supremely gifted all-rounder.

Geoff did not include one South African in his two teams, so I had a go at picking an All-Time SA Test match XI as well as two All-Time KZN Schools XI’s.

Geoff picked two match-day squads of 12 for an imaginary “Ultimate Test Match of Test Matches” and had to look at the candidates from all countries as well as the different eras. The 11 ultimately chosen out of the 12 would depend on the pitch – to opt for two spinners or one. He opted to not consider any current players.

And in his pragmatic way, Geoff made the following crucial distinction, which I think is the only way to compare players whose careers can be more than 100 years apart: “It is unfair to judge players only on figures. They all have great numbers, so to be fair I judge them against contemporaries from their own eras.” I tried to do the same with my teams.

When one considers that the likes of Barry Richards, Graeme Pollock, Mike Procter, Ian Botham, Hashim Amla, Curtly Ambrose, Michael Holding and Kapil Dev didn’t get the nod in either of Geoff’s squads of 12, you can see the embarrassment of riches available.

 

Don Bradman… batting colossus.

 

Geoffrey’s Ultimate Test Team One

Opening batsmen (1) Jack Hobbs and (2) Herbert Sutcliffe: “The finest opening pair in history,” says Geoff. The pair opened the batting for England a total of 38 times and their average number of runs scored per innings was 85.81 before a wicket fell. No Test match opening pair has ever done better than that, says Geoff. “To get that sort of start – on average – is like winning the pools.”

3. Don Bradman (Australia, captain): “A run scorer, a unique genius who was twice as good as the rest of us and is captain of this team. There is nothing else to add.”

4. George Headley (West Indies): Headley only played in 22 Test matches over a 10-year period yet was able to peel off 10 Test match centuries. “The Aussies dubbed him the black Bradman,” says Geoff.

5. Sachin Tendulkar (India): “Technically superb, with the performances to match against all types of bowling,” says Geoff. “Mastered his era and handled the pressure of expectation from India’s fanatical supporters.”

6. Gary Sobers (West Indies): Significantly, Geoff describes this ultimate all-rounder as the best batsman he has ever seen. And apart from his batting, “He [Sobers] was originally selected as an orthodox left-arm spinner but later in his career bowled left-arm lively swing which could be devastating. A great catcher anywhere close in.”

7. Alan Knott (England): “Lovely hands. Missed very little,” says Geoff. “I judge wicketkeepers on what they miss, not just how many they catch. How many catches or stumpings a gloveman takes is dependent on how many catches and stumpings the bowlers create. Got important runs when his team was in trouble, too.”

8. Shane Warne (Australia): “Natural wicket taker with amazing control,” says Geoff. “Generated a huge amount of spin with very, very few bad balls. Before he hurt his shoulder his flipper was devastating.”

9. Jim Laker (England): “For balance, I want a spinner turning the ball the other way. If it spun, Laker [an off-spinner] bowled teams out. He didn’t bowl the doosra because he didn’t need it. On dry turning pitches or a wet pitch that was drying he was nigh-on unplayable. On flat pitches you still couldn’t get after him.”

10. Sydney (SF) Barnes (England): As Geoff says, Surrey and England wicketkeeper Herbert Strudwick describes Barnes thus: “He was the best I ever kept to. He sent down something different each ball and he could turn it either way in remarkable fashion.” The great Australian batsman Clem Hill said: “On a perfect pitch Barnes could swing the ball late, in and out, and spin it.”

11. Malcolm Marshall (West Indies): “Bowled very fast, with movement,” says Geoff. “Could and did sometimes cut his pace down and seam the ball around at a lively pace within himself. On subcontinent pitches he was highly successful because he was skiddy without losing pace. Tall guys banging it in on those pitches can have the life sucked out of the delivery.”

12. Dennis Lillee (Australia): “Very fast, very smart, very skilful – and he had a big heart,” says Geoff. “Wonderful control – a complete fast bowler.”

 

WG Grace… stuff of legends.

 

Geoffrey’s Ultimate Test Team Two

1. WG Grace (England): “Some people could say Grace played in an era of underarm bowling that evolved to round-arm bowling. But on poor pitches open to the British weather, the ball often jumped up at your face or shot along the deck! He took 3 000 first-class wickets and scored 54 896 runs with 126 hundreds. He was the first man to score 100 hundreds. Compare his deeds with his contemporaries and he was way above anyone else. He was a natural athlete and in 1866 won the National 440 yards title and two days later scored 244 not out for Gloucester against Surrey at the Oval.”

2. Len Hutton (England): “A great England and Yorkshire batsman but Hobbs and Sutcliffe as a pair have to play together, so Len opens the batting with WG,” says Geoff.

3. Viv Richards (West Indies): “The best at number 3 but even he can’t be above Bradman in the other XI,” says Geoff. “Brutal, devastating, a tremendous competitor who was a great of his era. A giant in a fantastic team.”

4. Wally Hammond (England): “Hammond and Bradman didn’t get on during the 1946 friendship tour of Australia,” says Geoff. “You can’t have two players who hate each other causing disunity, so I’ve separated them. Hammond took 700 first-class wickets bowling medium pace and was a great slip catcher. He scored 167 centuries and in 1928-29 he outscored Bradman in Australia.”

5. Brian Lara (West Indies): “A wonderful stroke player,” says Geoff. “Making the world Test match record score of 375 for West Indies vs England in 1994 would be the supreme achievement for most batsmen, but to do it twice is mind blowing – and that’s what he did when he made 400 not out in 2004. He also scored the highest individual score in first-class cricket – 501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham in 1994 – and from only 427 balls. Wow. Every cricketer would be happy to have just one of those records. Excellent judge of length and a huge range of shots.”

6. Imran Khan (Pakistan, captain): “Anyone who can handle the politics, tempestuous nature and talent of a team of Pakistani players has to be outstanding at handling people. A fast bowler who was a great exponent of reverse swing on dry or low slow pitches, he also batted well. Excellent all-rounder, a great leader of men.”

 

Imran Khan of Pakistan… a remarkable leader and gifted all-rounder.

 

7. Adam Gilchrist (Australia): “Alan Knott was a better wicketkeeper but Gilchrist’s glovework was good enough. For a stumper, his batting was on another planet,” says Geoff. “Changed the role of keepers and a long line of fine keeper-batters have followed trying to emulate him.”

8. Bill O’Reilly (Australia): “Very tall, and a faster-than-normal wrist spinner,” says Geoff. “He didn’t toss it up much but created enormous pressure on batsmen by giving little to hit. Bradman said Bill O’Reilly was the best bowler he ever faced and was better than Barnes because he could bowl every ball that Barnes bowled, plus the googly. Barnes’s reply was, “I never needed it.” Barnes was a bit faster than Bill and swung the ball too, which Bill didn’t do much.”

9. Wasim Akram (Pakistan): “It is handy to have left-arm seam from a different angle,” says Geoff. “A tall man, he generated lots of pace and awkward bounce. Swung the new ball and could reverse swing the old ball devastatingly.”

10. Harold Larwood (England): “I must have Larwood in the opposition,” says Geoff. “Why? If Bradman is allowed to play his best, he can bat his side into a winning position. The only man to have cut Bradman down to half size was Larwood in the 1932-33 series in Australia. Larwood unsettled Bradman and also did some psychological damage to the great player because after that series they didn’t speak. There was too much feeling. It was personal. And regardless of all that, he was very fast and very accurate.”

11. Freddie Trueman (England): “Hardly ever got injured and took 307 Test wickets at 21.57 with a strike rate of 49, which is tremendous,” says Geoff. “Fred was not selected for 29 Tests because the ‘Establishment’ at that time were wary of characters. [England captain] Peter May said at the end of a long tiring day in the field Fred was the one bowler he could call on to come back and do the business.”

12. Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka): “Lovely lad and very likeable but my professional opinion is he threw it with that action. Anyway, I have to accept the ICC cleared it, so with his wickets and match-winning performances he has to be in. Great skill and huge spin either way with the doosra. Wonderful to watch.”

 

Brian Lara on reaching 400 not out in a Test match against England.

 

I then decided to have a go at picking an All-Time South Africa Test match XI and this is what I came up with. Please note that I didn’t spend hours on this, researching reports, averages and the like, so it is purely a squad of 12 that pretty much immediately came to mind. No doubt I probably have forgotten a player or two.

Possible All-Time SA Test match squad of 12
1 Barry Richards
2 Graeme Smith (captain)
3 Hashim Amla
4 Graeme Pollock
5 Jacques Kallis
6 AB de Villiers (wicketkeeper)
7 Shaun Pollock
8 Mike Procter
9 Hugh Tayfield
10 Dale Steyn
11 Alan Donald
12 Imran Tahir

 

For all your Toyota needs, Halfway Toyota Howick general manager and Maritzburg College Old Boy Brandon Brokensha is your go-to man. brandon@halfwayhowick.co.za

 

* The Test match squads of 12 below are by no means the definitive squads either, as there have been so many outstanding players from our KZN schools. It was just a quick thumb suck. Guaranteed I have forgotten a name for a minute and left someone out.

Possible All-Time KZN Schools squad of 12
1 Barry Richards (DHS)
2 Jackie McGlew (Maritzburg College, captain)
3 Hashim Amla (DHS)
4 Kevin Pietersen (Maritzburg College)
5 Robin Smith (Northlands, now Northwood)
6 Lee Irvine wicketkeeper (DHS)
7 Shaun Pollock (Northlands, now Northwood)
8 Mike Procter (Hilton College)
9 Keshav Maharaj (Northwood
10 Hugh Tayfield (DHS)
11 Lungi Ngidi (Hilton College)
12 Richard Snell (DHS)

And I would love to see them play a Test match against this KZN Schools squad, which is:

1 Chris Smith (Northlands, now Northwood)
2 Trevor Goddard (DHS)
3 Wayne Madsen (Kearsney College)
4 Roy McLean (Hilton College)
5 Dale Benkenstein (Michaelhouse, captain)
6 Jonty Rhodes (Maritzburg College)
7 David Miller (Maritzburg College)
8 Trevor Madsen (Glenwood, wicketkeeper)
9 Richard McGlashan (Beachwood, now Northwood)
10 Trevor Packer (Alexandra)
11 Daryn Dupavillon (Maritzburg College)
12 Derek Crookes (Hilton College)
13 Errol Stewart (Westville)

I bet there are names I have forgotten. It is just a team I came up with. I tried not to include players I have written about in recent years. They have got enough to contend with in these challenging times.

 

Absolute Containers sponsored these 2 wonderful Powerbanks to ensure that Jono and his smartphone remain fully charged when it really matters! A heartfelt thank you to Hilton College Old Boy Rory Smith. Absolute Containers, the trendsetters in customised containers and modular solutions! Take a look https://absolutecontainers.co.za/

 

DHS Old Boy Hashim Amla scores big for Surrey

London, the last week in April and the last week in May, have been good to the Durban High School Class of 2000’s Hashim Amla.

To close out the month of April, “The Mighty Hash” hit an unbeaten double hundred for Surrey against Hampshire in the County Championship and then wrapped up the month of May with another big score, 173 against Gloucestershire this time, in the same competition .

First up, Hash – who captained the DHS first XI in the year 2000 – compiled an unbeaten 215 in 8 hours and 11 minutes at the crease (367 balls with 22 boundaries) at The [Kia] Oval that helped set up victory for Surrey by an innings and 289 runs over Hampshire.

Hash, who was born on 31 March 1983, eventually retired hurt after conjuring up his 7th double century in first-class cricket over a first-class career that has now spanned 246 matches.

It is the same ground where Hash, now 38, became the first South African to make a triple Test hundred – against England in 2012 – a monumental 13 hour-and-10-minute knock of 311 not out that bore telling testimony to his considerable durability, patience and skill.

 

KZN10.com website and social media thanks the outstanding #HalfwayToyota Howick dealership and its general manager Brandon Brokensha for their support. I cannot do this alone. Contact me at joncookroy@gmail.com for info on the various advertising options and more. #TogetherWeAreOne. And why not email brandon@halfwayhowick.co.za or take a look at www.halfwaytoyota.com

 

Of the Hampshire rout, ESPN cricinfo’s Matt Roller reported that Hash “had managed only 78 runs in his first 3 games of the season, including a pair at Lord’s [the week before] but this innings was a throwback to his heyday, as he punched through cover, steered through third man and whipped through midwicket with a roll of the wrists.

“Amla was thwarted by birds more regularly than by Hampshire bowlers: a back-foot punch through the covers was stopped by a flock of pigeons grazing in the deep, and he backed away moments before a Liam Dawson ball that pegged back his off stump as one flew across his line of vision, resulting in a dead ball.

“Scott Currie, the 19-year-old seamer, induced a couple of false shots and had him dropped at wide slip on 184…” but apart from that it was vintage Hashim Amla, doing what he does best, dictating the course of a match.

 

The DHS first XI of the year 2000 that included names destined to distinguish the school across numerous fields.

 

The DHS Old Boy’s School first XI of 2000 included the likes of fellow Proteas cap and current Hollywoodbets Dolphins head coach Imraan Khan, Scott Mathie of DHS (and more) rugby playing & coaching renown, as well as the current headmaster of the independent Lynford School (in Ixopo) Luke Hounsom, and was coached by Alan Norton, the current principal of Durban North College who put 30 years of his teaching and coaching career into “School” as DHS is affectionately known.

Four weeks after his 215 it was another big Amla innings on his home county ground that influenced another big Surrey victory, this time by an innings and 47 runs over County Championship Group 2 high riders Gloucestershire, the men from the West country’s first defeat of the campaign.

 

 

Amla scored 173 this time round, compiled during an 8-hour-and-23-minute marathon out in the middle in which he faced 347 deliveries and hit 16 boundaries for his 54th first-class century.

“If Surrey supporters could name one thing that they missed most about not being able to come to The Oval in recent times, the sight Hashim Amla in full flow would surely have been high on the list,” reported ESPN cricinfo’s Alan Gardner, “… there are few batters in world cricket so unarguably worth the admission fee.”

“Those who made the pilgrimage for Surrey’s encounter with Gloucestershire were duly rewarded. Amla moved serenely to 3 figures during the dying embers of the [second] day, as if to order for those wishing to slip in for a glimpse of greatness on their way home from work.

“Some 2 500 were in the ground, and the majority of them rose to their feet as he stroked his 12th boundary through the covers, then removed his helmet to salute the four corners [of The Oval].

“This was also a captain’s innings, with Amla taking over responsibilities from Test-match bound Rory Burns [the upcoming England vs New Zealand 2-Test series that starts Wednesday].

“Leading with the bat has always come naturally for Amla and, having started well by winning the toss, he coasted up and down through the gears as required to ensure Surrey finished the [second] day ably placed.”

This was a match in which Surrey needed a win over the men from the West country in order to keep their County Championship title hopes alive.

It was Amla’s 3rd County Championship hundred for Surrey.

 

 

Gardner went on to say that Gloucestershire were “pummelled for the best part of two days by Hashim Amla’s velvet-gloved iron fist”.

More of Gardner on the Mighty Hash and this match: “Having spent 5 sessions in the field, the majority of which involved the exquisite torture of watching Amla go about his business at close range on the way to 173 from 347 balls, Gloucestershire’s batters had to gird themselves for an uncomfortable examination under suddenly grouchy south London skies. Surrey had the platform they wanted…”

“… Amla would have to be the ‘Boa Constrictor’, squeezing every ounce out of an innings or situation. He had Gloucestershire trussed up in his coils for almost eight-and-a-half hours, slowly tightening, tightening as Surrey set about making good on the attempt to bat once and bat big, before unleashing their spinners on a wearing surface.”

So, all in all, a thoroughly well-deserved “Well done Hash!”

The DHS Old Boy of the “wristy leg-side flick and serene cover drive” as so aptly described by ESPN cricinfo’s Firdose Moonda, ranks right up there with School’s best.

Jonathan Cook of KZN10.com website and social media thanks Hilton College Old Boy Rory Smith of Absolute Containers for sponsoring these 2 wonderful Powerbanks to ensure that Jono and his smartphone remain fully charged when it really matters!!! A heartfelt thank you, dear Absolute Containers! No wonder you are the trendsetters in customised containers and modular solutions! Take a look https://absolutecontainers.co.za/

 

When angry buffalo memories scatter your thoughts

It is amazing how you chance upon a random Facebook feed and find yourself spending a good couple of hours happily lost down Memory Lane.

Thanks Anthony Hall, your post sparked all sorts of happy reminiscences – although I must hasten to add an especially (unfond) uncomfortable afternoon memory too…

See if you recognise these players and the coach/manager etc. If so, please point out who is who amongst this quality group of KZN10 schoolboy cricketers from that early eighties era who as far as I can recall were outstanding as a team at that 1983 Nuffield Week.

 

A heartfelt thank you to Maritzburg College Old Boy and general manager of the outstanding Halfway Howick Toyota dealership, Brandon Brokensha, for being the first supporter of KZN10.com after the nightmare of the last 14 months. Please join Brandon and back me. I can be contacted at joncookroy@gmail.com

 

I do recall some of the guys almost immediately, although my facts and so on may be more than a little hazy here and there.

I notice the 1983 Maritzburg College and Natal Schools captain, the wicketkeeper/batsman Andrew Brown (front row, third from left); his school teammate, the left-arm seamer and right-hand bat Greg Walsh (back row, third from the right).

And on the far right in the front row, fellow Maritzburg College batsman Richard Delvin, who I think made 2 centuries at the 1983 Nuffield Week but missed out on SA Schools selection – there must have been some seriously in-form batsman at that Nuffield Week.

I think Greg Walsh, who was an outstanding fielder into the bargain, also hit a century at that Nuffield Week.

Not sure who took the bulk of the wickets.

Durban High School’s Robbie May (back row, fourth from the right) was an effective quick bowler so I am not surprised he is in this outstanding team, which I think (as I said) had a superb Nuffield Week.

I think that fifth from the left in the back row is Kearsney College paceman Anthony Hall, who made SA Schools that year as far as I can recall. Ant was seriously quick and uber-aggressive, and had the ability to cut the ball viciously off a reasonably responsive pitch.

 

Anthony Hall and his outstanding son James, the former Junior Springbok scrumhalf whose skill at Stade Francais is making serious waves in French Top 14 Rugby. Ant and James are two of Kearsney College’s finest. I am pleased, too, that Ant’s dad went to Maritzburg College.

 

I was last at school in 1982 and as I type this I vividly recall facing Ant’s right-arm pace and fire – a charging buffalo had nothing on a suitably riled-up Ant Hall – from one end on Kearsney’s splendid AH Smith Oval while the ultra-talented Natal Schools (and further) flyhalf Cameron Oliver (RIP), who was a left-arm quick capable of weaving red-ball magic when the mood took him, was at full-throttle from the other end.

Just to get bat on ball – at all – on that testing fourth term 1982 Saturday afternoon felt like a triumph in itself.

I think that second from the right in the back row is Michaelhouse’s hard-hitting all-rounder Dave Burger, who later finished his schooling at Maritzburg College.

I think that’s Beachwood’s Craig Small in the front row – while I think Craig Beart of Hilton is there as well, alongside Rich Delvin. And the teacher coach in the front row has to be Hilton’s Ant Lovell.

And Dean van der Walt of DHS is there, it might have been Dean’s second year in the side.

Help me out guys.

When the ticks on a ruffled buffalo are biting in all the wrong places it’s no place to be.

 

 

T20 World Cup, batting styles, bowling off-cutters & more

Telegraph chief cricket writer Scyld Berry and colleague Tim Wigmore make some interesting points about the evolution of T20 cricket, the state of the gripping India England series ahead of Saturday’s day-night decider and the contrast in fortunes between two batting styles’ effectiveness on the pitches found in the hot-house of the world game.

Scyld points to how the game in your modern-day top-level T20 match has slowed since the days of the format’s inception (in the 2003 county season) when the 80-minute mark required the last over to be delivered. The 3-hour T20 match was the norm. In the current India England series it is taking 2 hours to get through each innings.

Sussex were the first county to install floodlights but everywhere else in county cricket a T20 match was geared to start after the typical work day had finished and end before the long English summer evenings had seeped into dusk. Of course, in those days there were no interruptions by third umpires taking long minutes to adjudicate just one contentious dismissal.

 

Off-cutter kingpin Shardul Thakur congratulated by Rohit Sharma.

 

Scyld points out that in blazing floodlit India there is no rush in the evenings, which present the most amenable time of the day to be outside. And possibly the only folk fretting about how late the match is going to end are parents anxious to get the kids asleep and away from the TV before the strike of the midnight hour.

And the lengthening duration of the T20 innings is plays right into the palm of the TV broadcaster’s hand; the longer the game the more TV ad breaks.

There are few who can put words to better use than Scyld: “Bring on the dew, bring out the towels! Slow the game down even more – and as long as there is a decent climax, does anybody – apart from anxious parents and those with first-edition [news] deadlines – really care?”

 

Jofra Archer bat-smash.

 

England’s plethora of left-handers (4 of the top 7) are being undone by the India attack’s judicious employment of the off-cutter on relatively slow pitches, while the fast-flowing bounty of runs being scored by the agile and wristy, shorter of stature, quick hands-and-feet inventiveness of the home batters (Suryakumar Yadav, man of the match on debut) is trumping the fortunes of the “stand tall and play straight” technocrats like Dawid Malan and KL Rahul.

Yadav, Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer added 124 in 72 balls in a middle-overs case study that contributed much to the 8-run win in Ahmedabad and the 2-2 squaring of the series, Jofra Archer’s late frenzy that included breaking his bat notwithstanding.

A record of just 77 series runs off 80 balls at the top of the innings (when quite often just 2 fielders have been allowed out of the ring) is putting Dawid Malan’s England place in doubt as the T20 World Cup looms in India later this year.

 

Dawid Malan.

 

Dawid Johannes Malan is the son of Dawid J. Malan, who played four first-class matches for Northerns and WP. Born in England and brought up in the Paarl, matriculating at Boys’ High, Dawid junior made his first-class debut for Boland fresh out of school, followed by a permanent move to England and the launch of what has been a decade-plus career on the county circuit as well as noted success for the national team.

A tall (6-foot) left-hander with an orthodox batting style capable of booming straight drives, Dawid is finding the Indian pitches less rewarding than the pacy, hard tracks that have greater affinity with his technique.

England superstar all-rounder Ben Stokes told Telegraph man-on-tour Wigmore that Saturday’s series decider took on the dimensions of a precursor to a possible T20 World Cup final between the world’s number 1 and 2 sides.

 

The spectacular Surayakumar Yadav.

 

“It is a final, because if we don’t win then we lose the series. The more situations we get put into when we’ve got pressure on us and we keep prevailing that’s going to do us the world of good – especially with a T20 World Cup coming up. These are all great learning experiences.

“I hope that everyone is still asking questions of themselves. I hope that there is more work to do because that’s how you get better as you’re always looking to improve.”

 

The first 2 T20s had bumper crowds of 67 000 in Ahmedabad but Covid spikes meant the last 3 are playing out in an empty stadium.

 

Sources: The Telegraph, AP, PA, Reuters, Getty, Rex

Saints Premier League: Malachites and Royals flying

The Saints Premier League is up and away, and a big shout out to the Royals and Malachites for kicking off their title quest with a bang.

Scores in brief:
Supernovas 75/8, Malachites 76/5 – Malachites won by 5 wickets
Royals 110/5, Spartans 98/7 – Royals won by 12 runs
Saints Premier League ‘21 CAP Holders
Orange cap – Jason Muirhead (45* off 24)
White – Joshua Knowles (catch to dismiss Zuma)
Purple – Timothy Schoeman (3 overs -16 dots)
Yellow (MANA Moment) – Haden Mcleod (dismissing Matthew Urquhart)
Games on The Oval are live streamed.

Septic tank & sludge pit drainage? Why let the conditions drain you? DHS Old Boy and proud current Saints grade 11 parent John Smithers has got your back. email johnsmithers@vodamail.com.

 

So near yet so far… let’s hope we’re not too far off from it happening again

Around end-September 2020 would have seen the 61st edition of Maritzburg College’s stellar Oppenheimer Michaelmas Cricket Week… but it was not to be. These annual four days of cricket, glorious schoolboy first XI cricket, have been etched into my sporting heart for so long it felt almost like a bereavement at the time.

Feature photo: Some of the Oppenheimer Michaelmas Cricket Week’s most distinguished alumni. See how many you can identify and then attach them to their schools.

Yes, there are far more important things in life, yet at the same time one must not minimise the impact of the special things that make the trials and tribulations of life (almost) bearable.

As a reminder of what we have taken for granted – until last year- here is a look at the KZN10.com first XI line-ups that represented our province’s premier cricket schools at the 2017 OMCW.

 

My rather battered front cover of the commemorative 58th annual Oppenheimer Michaelmas Cricket Week programme.

 

Let’s not worry about scores etc. Let’s just reflect on names and the personal and collective cricket memories they conjure up.

Maybe you’d like to share some of them?

2017 KZN first XI’s at the 58th Oppenhemer Michaelmas Cricket Week

Hosts Maritzburg College first XI
Scott Steenkamp (capt), Damian Walden, Brad Sherwood, Matt Crampton, Michael Horan, Brynley Noble, Andre Bradford, Jayden Gengan, Cameron Holloway, Jared Campbell, Dean Dyer, Keagan Collyer. Staff: Dave and Elmarie Pryke

Clifton College first XI
William Masojada (capt?), Scott Quinn, Matthew Montgomery, Joshua Brown, Luke Shave, Simon Holmes, Ariq Chetty, Daniel Freitag, Daniel Elgar, Connor Veitch, Jason Groves, Muhammad Noorbhai, James Feuilharde. Staff: Matt Savage, Yash Ebrahim, Oliver Cash

Kearsney College first XI
Blaise Carmichael, Patrick McGrath, Rory Bloy, Luke de Vlieg (capt), Robbie Koenig, Steven Conway, Michael Brokensha, Marco Gouviea, Carl Heunis, Jared Brien, Jethro Strydom, Bradley Beaumont. Staff: Hubert von Ellewee, Jonathan Beaumont

 

Back cover of the programme… unfortunately a little tattered it has become among my many books and assorted memorabilia

 

Michaelhouse first XI
Sean Gilson (capt), Tom Price, William Glassock, William Norton, Thomas Trotter, Fraser Jones, Nathan Wesson, Michael Brownlee, Liam England, Declan Newton, Gift Mokoena, Cameron Leer, Michael Meneer. Staff: Dean Forword, Jason Wulfsohn

Northwood first XI
Slater Capell (capt?), Ali Hamid, Jordan Edy, Andile Mogagane, Daniel Zvidzui, Alvin Chiradza, Samkelo Gasa, Wander Mtolo, Jeremy Martins, Mpumelelo Xulu, Luke Stevens, Cameron Ciaglia, Nicolas Deeb. Staff: Divan van Wyk, Riaan Minnie

Hilton College first XI
Robbie McGaw, James Ritchie, Michael Sclanders, Gareth Schreuder, Chris Meyer, Brandon McMullen (capt), Michael Booth, Alistair Frost, Jared Venter, Alex Roy, Mike Frost, Kamogelo Selane, William Haynes. Staff: Dale Benkenstein, Sean Carlisle

DHS first XI
Safwaan Barradeen, Kribashan Naidoo, Liam Green, Martin Mugoni, Sumiran Ramlakkan, Jordan Bryan, Joshua Stride (capt?), Brayden Sambhu, Sinolin Pather, Taine Owen, Tawanda Zimhindo, Rodney Mapfudza. Staff: Oss Gcilitshana, Florian Genade

 

The 2017 Hilton College first XI captain Brandon McMullen seen here post-school in the UK.

 

Glenwood first XI
Daelen Fynn (capt?), Jared Paul, Thamsanqa Khumalo, Cameron Reid, Caleb Alexander, Joe Jonas, Nikhil Prem, Hayden Rossouw, Alex Pillay, Khwezi Gumede, Jaden Hendrikse, Nathan Archibald. Staff: Jarryd Chetty, Brandon Scullard, Bevon Futter

Westville first XI
Carl Jairaj (capt), Matthew Pollard, Sam Gervasoni, Josh Brady, Josh Parker, Caleb Pillay, Brandon McCabe, Hayden Bowman, Jaryd Cook, Bonga Chepkonga, Keshlan Govender, Jandre Viljoen, Mazwi Meyiwa, Jarred Oosthuizen. Staff: Fabian Lazarus, Thomas Jackson, Chester Comins

* Not sure if all the captains are correct. Please advise. Thanks

 

Top waterpolo player, top cricket coach, and now CEO of the DHS Foundation

15 June 2020 – Andrew Shedlock, as the CEO of the DHS Foundation, is a well-known figure at Durban High School and in the school’s community. Before taking up his position in 2019, he enjoyed a successful career as an international waterpolo player before turning to cricket and making his mark as a coach on professional and schools’ level players alike.

As a young boy at DPHS, he excelled as a swimmer and represented Natal Schools in the pool in 1973 and 1974. He also had aspirations of success on the cricket field.

When it came time for high school, he moved to DHS where he continued swimming and playing cricket, which was a challenge at times. In a recent interview, he said: “In those days the swimming galas used to take place on a Saturday morning, so I, on the odd occasion, would go to a gala and swim (I was the number one swimmer in my age group), and from the gala I used to go to cricket matches. That happened in second form (grade 8) and third form (grade 9). In third form, I swam for Natal Schools.”

The following year, he was appointed captain of the DHS under-15 A cricket team, but then something occurred that was to have a huge impact on his life. He went to watch his brother playing a waterpolo match and when his brother’s team found themselves short of a player they asked Andrew to play. He did.

“Being swimming fit, it was fine. I jumped in the pool and I enjoyed the game and I said ‘this is me’. I had one or two cricket games left and I said ‘at the end of this I am giving up cricket’. I went and finished my cricket games.”

As the return of summer sports approached after winter, he started swimming again and told the waterpolo coach he wanted to play waterpolo. He was then selected for a Stayers tour of the Eastern Cape.

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“Now, everything was flying and I was training and I understood that I was giving up cricket. The last week prior to the tour I was called into the Headmaster’s office, who was then the legendary Des ‘Spike’ Thompson.

“He turned around to me – and every time I go into that office now I have these visions of standing there in front of him – and from where I stood you could see the whole school from the windows, and he said to me ‘Shedlock, you are not allowed to give up cricket. The major sports at this school are cricket and rugby. They take preference and I am not allowing you to play waterpolo. I want you to go from office to the cricket practice (because I was captaining the under-15 A team at the time) and that is it! Don’t ask questions.

“I said, ‘but sir, I don’t have my cricket kit with me’. He said, ‘that’s fine. You go to waterpolo today. But when you come back in the fourth term, I expect you to play cricket’. I went from there to the waterpolo practice and went on the waterpolo tour. Then, when I came back in the fourth term, I said to the waterpolo coach, Mr Nico Lamprecht, ‘What must I do?’ and he told me to go to waterpolo.

“I played first team in the fourth form, which in those days was unheard of. I was still under-15. I went on and played SA Schools in 1980 and I captained SA Schools in 1981. I never looked back.

Andrew captained the South African Schools waterpolo team of 1981.

“One day I asked Nico what happened with my situation at DHS. He said he went to the Headmaster after the tour and said to him, ‘Mr Thompson, what takes preference, first team waterpolo or under-15 A cricket?’, so Spike told him it was obviously first team waterpolo. Nico said ‘Shedlock’s in the first team’. That’s how he got around me being able to give up cricket.

“Funnily enough, I became the reference, not only for DHS, but also for other schools. When guys wanted to give up, they would point to Shedlock at DHS, who was able to do it. People after that used me as an example.”

Andrew Shedlock and Steve la Marque proudly display their SA Schools’ colours.

After school, Andrew went to Stellenbosch University. As part of his degree, he did a level two cricket coaching course. Later, when he returned to Durban, he did a level three course.

During his time at Stellenbosch, in 1986, he also represented the South African men’s waterpolo team. In 1989, he completed his studies, having qualified as a biokineticists. He needed to do an internship and, fortuitously, the man he did it under was Richard Turnbull. Turnbull had earned himself a highly respected reputation and, as a result of that, was involved with both the Natal cricket and rugby teams.

While at university, Andrew was selected for the South African men’s waterpolo team in 1986.

Andrew, who was living in Durban, drove up to Pietermaritzburg every day to work with Turnbull, who, besides running a successful gym, Body Dynamics, where a number of other biokineticists were doing their internships, also worked in the Sports Office at the local university. Future international cricket coach Graham Ford worked there too. When Turnbull decided to set up a Body Dynamics Gym in Durban at Collegians Club, he chose Andrew to run it.

Back in Durban, cricket again entered Andrew’s life. “I got involved with the Natal cricket side. In those days, Mike Procter was the coach. Kim Hughes was the captain. There were guys like Peter Rawson, Neville Daniels, and Rob Bentley. I became friendly with Kim, and the Aussies were probably a bit more advanced than us in those days [in how they utilised sports science]. Fitness was quite a thing for him, so he used to come into the gym quite often and encouraged all the other guys to come.

When it comes to planning your next school sports tour look no further than former Hilton College first XI captain Craig Goodenough who’s been there, seen the movie and bought the T-shirt factory.

“In 1990, Richard [Turnbull] worked closely with Ian MacIntosh and the Natal rugby side (which was, of course, the first year that Natal won the Currie Cup). Because Richard couldn’t come to Durban that often, I used to deal with a lot of the rehabilitation of the players. That year I rehabbed Dick Muir when he injured a hamstring, Jeremy Thomson popped a shoulder, and Wahl Bartmann was another player I worked with. I did the rehab for a lot of those Natal players. Biokinetics in those days wasn’t a recognised profession. It was really, really tough.

At that time, too, Andrew was still playing top level waterpolo. In fact, the next South African national team to tour internationally after the ground-breaking cricket tour of India in 1992 was the waterpolo side and it was not a gentle introduction.

“We went to a pre-Olympic waterpolo tournament in 1992 in Hungary and played against Hungary, the USA, the Netherlands, Czechoslovakia and Italy [who would go on to claim Olympic gold],” Andrew recalled. “We played against all the teams that were two months out from the Olympic Games, so they were peaking and those were their Olympic sides.”

Six members of the Natal waterpolo team of 1992 were selected for the national team, including Andrew Shedlock.

By then, Andrew had also moved to the Health and Racquet Club in La Lucia. Then, Graham Ford took over from Mike Procter as Natal cricket coach.

“Because of his association with Richard at Maritzburg University, Graham wanted Richard to work with him,” Andrew said. “But Richard couldn’t because, being in Maritzburg, he couldn’t get down to Durban all the time. So I went and helped. I used to go to practices and warm-ups for games.

“On Saturdays and Sundays, during a four-day game in Durban, I would be there and act as a fitness assistant. There were players like the legendary Malcolm Marshall, Clive Rice, Peter Rawson, and then our local talent which included Andrew Hudson, Jonty Rhodes, Lance Klusener, Shaun Pollock, Errol Stewart, Neil Johnson, Dale Benkenstein, Mark Bruyns and Doug Watson.

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Being around the players so much proved to be a valuable learning experience. “In those days, you spoke cricket. Can you imagine sitting next to Marshall, Rawson, and Rice? Sometimes we would leave the ground at 19:00 or 20:00, having listened to these guys’ stories until it was late.”

After some time, Graham Ford asked Andrew if he would be interested in working as a full-time trainer out of the Natal Cricket Union’s indoor centre. He said a gym would be added on the side. Andrew agreed to it and turned his sole focus to cricket.

It was an interesting time. Under the leadership of Malcolm Marshall, the approach of the Natal team was changing. Some players, like Marshall, were full-time professionals, while others, like Peter Rawson, Mark Logan and Errol Stewart, held down jobs, which meant different practices times for different players. In addition, a number of Natal players had to travel from the Pietermaritzburg daily to attend practices. There was a period of adjustment needed.

The Dolphins celebrate winning the Standard Bank One Day Cup in 1996/97.

It also became a valuable learning environment for Andrew. He said: “Fordie would go and throw and he would, for example, say Jonty was coming in for a net and I would throw to him. I had quite a strong arm from playing waterpolo and I got the nickname ‘Wayward Wally’. Every time Fordie would coach I watched and listened. It got to the stage where guys would ask me to throw to them when Fordie was busy. I got to teach myself about the game.

“I had guys in those days, like Jonty and Andrew Hudson, while Lance [Klusener] and Polly were coming through. Often when I threw to them, those guys knew their games, so they taught me what to look for. I learned and developed.”

In 1998, Graham Ford joined the Proteas as an assistant coach to Bob Woolmer. When he did that, he asked Andrew to take over the Cricket Academy at Kingsmead. Andrew subsequently took charge there and started coaching the under-19 team, while staying involved with the senior side. During that period he also built up a particularly strong relationship with another former DHS boy, Lance Klusener, and Jonty Rhodes.

Andrew hanging out with Lance Klusener. He built up a particularly close relationship with the DHS Old Boy during his time with Natal cricket.

“They would have no one else coach them, no one else throw to them other than me,” Andrew said. “I spent a lot of time with Lance prior to the 1999 Cricket World Cup, and also with Jonty.”

Klusener, of course, went on to be named Player of the Tournament at the Cricket World Cup after a string of devastating match-winning performances. The South African challenge, sadly, ended in the semi-finals when, after playing to a thrilling tie against Australia, they were eliminated from the tournament.

“Lance and Jonty taught me a lot,” Andrew said. “I would get a phone call from Lance from the West Indies, for example, and he would ask if I had watched him bat and how did he do. If I didn’t watch, he would shit all over me.

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“Through the course of time, people like [DHS old boy] Hashim Amla came through the system. [DHS old boy] Imraan Khan came through the system, and people like Mark Bruyns, Doug Watson, and [Zimbabwe international all-rounder] Neil Johnson. Natal was a formidable team. It was great to be involved with them.”

Change is inevitable, though, and one day, in 2003, it announced itself. “A letter got slipped under my door to say thank you very much, but your services are no longer required. I was a bit upset and I tried to fight it, but I was fighting a losing battle.”

Resetting, that same year, in March, he set up the Shedders Cricket Academy. It has been in operation ever since. Andrew explained: “I started at DPHS. From there I moved and coached from home. Then I ended up at Northwood for 10 years.” There he served the school as a professional coach, assisting all teams. He was subsequently appointed the Director of Cricket and also coached the 1st team.

Gareth  Orr (right) was one of the first boys Andrew coached when he started his cricket academy in 2003. Gareth went to Maritzburg College, played for KZN Inland, and then went to study at the University of Pretoria. When he decided to start playing cricket again in 2020, he once more turned to Andrew for coaching.

After leaving Northwood, he moved to DHS. The Shedders Cricket Academy now operates out of DHS and, coming full circle, DPHS, where it all began.

Reflecting on his manner of work, his coaching style, and what he has to offer as a coach, Andrew said: “One advantage I’ve always felt I had was that I had played international sport and I knew the pressures of playing at that level.

“I feel a lot of my coaching is focused on motivation, encouragement, and positive reinforcement. Cricket is one of those sports where it is so technical that you can find a fault with every shot or ball. I try to avoid that and make it a lot more positive.”

Interestingly, his coaching has also impacted on some prominent England internationals. Craig Roy, had played provincial and international waterpolo with Andrew, so when Craig’s son, Jason, was starting to make his mark with Surrey he arranged for him to come out to South Africa to spend six weeks with Andrew to work on his game. It wasn’t the last time Jason, who went on to earn his England colours as a hard-hitting top order batsman, sought out his coaching.

Andrew has worked closely with England international Jason Roy, the son of his former waterpolo team-mate Craig Roy.

Kevin Pietersen, too, when he was in the wilderness in Natal cricket, before his move to England where he became a mainstay of the national side, turned to Andrew for coaching and that resulted in many hours spent at Kingsmead with the pair working on Kevin’s game.

Andrew also spent time coaching future England one-day international captain Eoin Morgan, and that led to one of the few regrets of his coaching career. He said: “I worked a little bit with Eoin when he came out and spent six months at Saint Henry’s as a schoolboy. It was at a time that [future Proteas’ assistant coach] Adrian Birrell was just finishing off as the Ireland coach and Ireland were trying to persuade Eoin Morgan to keep his Irish citizenship and play for them. I worked with him and I got offered a job at Malahide Cricket Club, which is now a test venue for Ireland cricket. You look back and wonder what if I had taken the job?”

Cricket, though, did take him abroad to the hot bed of India and it almost resulted in a position in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL). “I got quite involved in the Indian Cricket League (ICL), which was the one that got banned,” he said. “I was coaching in that league and I had a phone call from [the first chairman and commissioner of the IPL] Lalit Modi prior to the IPL starting, but we were already down the road with the ICL. You look at those things [and wonder], but I have no regrets.”

One of the true greats of the game, Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara, with Andrew at the 2016 Masters Champions League.

Nowadays, as CEO of the DHS Foundation, Andrew has an office on the school’s grounds and the Shedders Cricket Academy makes use of the High Performance Cricket Centre, coaching in and around school practices. He is no longer involved in the day-to-day running of the Academy, but takes the occasional session. He has three coaches in his employ.

Still, coaching provides him with a sense of satisfaction. “It is a lot about motivation and encouragement, about boys enjoying themselves and the time they spend with me.

“I’m very happy to coach a boy that plays in the under-11 D team and the very next session I will coach a provincial player. It’s about adapting, and I get as much enjoyment out of coaching the under-11 D players as I do out of coaching first team or provincial players,” he commented.

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He feels encouraged and is so positive by what is currently happening at DHS. “DHS is most definitely on the up and, crucially, DHS is gaining the confidence of its Old Boys again. Boys and parents alike are now choosing DHS, where not too long ago they might not have even considered it as an option. Our academic structures are constantly improving, and our sport is again starting to compete at top levels.”

“There are so many good things that are happening at DHS, for example, the introduction of Cambridge and the Nonpareil extension programme,” Andrew said.

“Under the school’s leadership of Tony Pinheiro and his staff, it is so pleasing to see where his team has taken the school to in such a short period of time. I am not just standing and preaching it, it is genuinely happening. The school is constantly evolving and looking for ways to improve. We all market our school with passion. We are getting there. Our numbers are up, our boarding establishment is full and as mentioned earlier, DHS now offers the Cambridge system.”

While Andrew now focuses on his work with The DHS Foundation and his passion for DHS, the legacy of Shedders Cricket Academy continues in the capable hands of his son Ross (seen here on the occasion of his last match for the DHS 1st XI) and his loyal and dedicated coaches who, overseen by Andrew, continue to coach cricket with the same coaching principles of passion, hard work and positive coaching mentality.

Saints’ old boy SJ Erwee is a Dolphins’ stalwart

Saint Charles’ old boy SJ (Sarel) Erwee has been one of the most successful and consistent Dolphins’ batsmen of recent seasons, bringing stability and runs to the top of the order, and performing well in all forms of the game. KZN10.com’s Brad Morgan caught up with him to talk about how his former school had helped develop his love for the game and about how he became a success at franchise level.

His home language was Afrikaans, so he attended Piet Retief in Pietermaritzburg until the end of grade three, before switching to Pelham from his grade four year on. During his time at Pelham, while playing in Midlands’ cricket trials at Saint Charles, he scored 60, an innings that was witnessed by two Saint Charles’ matric boys, Glenn Addicott and Brad Moses, both of whom would go on to play for the Dolphins.

Afterwards, they asked him which school he was planning to attend for high school. His initial thoughts had been Maritzburg College, but, he admitted, he was not about to tell the two Saint Charles’ boys that. They told him they would help make sure he moved to the school. Then, when he thought about it, as an Afrikaans boy, Saint Charles began to make a lot of sense.

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He explained: “I think, as an Afrikaans boy going into an English school, you’re looking for a bit more one-on-one help, in case you’re battling with school work when it’s your first time in an English class. Saint Charles had small classes, maximum of 20 in a class, so you got individual attention if you needed help. That was what drew me toward the school, knowing I would survive in an English environment as an Afrikaans boy.”

Also, the two matric boys had made a very favourable impression on young SJ: “Having matrics caring for youngsters and wanting them at their school, that was quite special as well,” he said.

SJ’s dad, Sarel, had enjoyed a successful career as a provincial rugby player, and it was his favourite sport, but when SJ said he wished to concentrate on cricket, his dad backed his decision.

“As a youngster, I guess all parents want you to do well and they obviously push you to do well, and they do what is necessary to give you the best opportunity to do well, things like extra coaching. As a sportsman, he wanted that for me. He was very strict as a father, but very supportive. He knew what it took to succeed at a higher level.”

“He wanted the best for me and my cricket. Whatever it took, he was that pillar that supported me in those decisions. Him knowing what it took, and the things that you need to stay away from if you wanted to make it in sport, I learnt from those things. He kept me grounded.”

Celebration time with the Dolphins.

Another big influence on SJ was Saint Charles’ 1st XI coach, Dave Karlsen. “He believed in me from a young age,” SJ said. “I started training with the first team at the end of my grade eight year. I trained with them for a bit during my grade nine year. I think I played a couple of games in the Michaelmas Week in grade nine. He always believed in me and pushed me. During PE lessons, he would actually do a bit of coaching with me. He saw the potential in me from an early age.”

He was also encouraged by other boys at the school. “The brotherly community and family attitude at Saint Charles was nice. We had a lot of guys, like Glenn Addicott, who helped me. Also, his brother Denzel and Brad Moses, they were always willing to help and willing to throw balls. There were a lot of senior guys (they know who they are) when I was a youngster at first team practices willing to learn, and they were willing to give advice and willing to help.”

During his time at Saints, SJ earned provincial representation for KZN Inland at under-15, under-17 and under-19 level, which he achieved for two years in succession.

Straight out of school, he joined the Dolphins Academy, but on his arrival there he realised he would need to adjust his goals. He explained: “I used to be a bowler that could bat a bit. When I went to the Dolphins Academy, there were much better spinners than me; Keshav [Maharaj] was there. Our Academy coach just said to me, ‘You can bowl, but work on your batting’.

“I suppose I just fell a bit more in love then with batting than bowling. It was more fun batting and whacking bowlers than bowling. That’s when I changed into a batter.”

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During his time at the Academy, SJ made his first class debut, but it was a hit and miss affair, and he was in and out of teams. KZN Inland, where he was to later enjoy a lot of success, was not run in an especially professional manner.

“I was batting at three, then at seven, then nine, then five. I was all over the show, so I never really had a set plan about how I wanted to bat and where I wanted to bat, because I was chopping and changing week in and week out. That probably affected my stats negatively,” he said.

His cricket career, though, took a decided turn for the better when Grant Morgan joined Inland as coach from the 2012-13 season. His leadership and coaching turned the fortunes of the long down-trodden team around and soon they were winning trophies, something which had appeared unthinkable previously.

SJ was batting at five when Morgan arrived at Inland, but the new coach had seen something in the left-hander and pushed him up the order to number three. He explained to SJ how he wanted him to play, told him to back himself, and assured him he would stay at three for the rest of the season. With that, SJ’s game began to mature.

“Then I figured out I didn’t want to play for Inland for the rest of my career. I wanted to move up.

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“I had a look at the Dolphins side and where there could be an opportunity. I am very good friends with Divan van Wyk and obviously Imraan Khan, our coach now, we get along very well. We had a good relationship when they played for Inland and they’ve helped me quite a bit through my Inland career and my cricket career. I have got a lot of respect for them. I still speak to Divan and ask them for advice, likewise with his brother, Morné. They’ve helped me a lot.”

“I saw the middle order was packed with youngsters and guys that were consistently doing well. But there were only the two openers, Divan and Imraan, and I thought there was an opportunity there. I was going to try and take it. If it worked out, I could have a successful career. If it didn’t, well I gave it a bash. Divan and Imraan were very supportive of that. It seemed to work out.

“Whenever they were playing for the Dolphins, I would open for Inland. Things started going nicely and they were backing me. In the training sessions, they would help me. We would train with the new ball and they would tell me what it takes, the mind-set and technique. It’s funny how it works out that way.”

SJ Erwee has excelled in the shorter forms of the game, averaging over 40 in the 50-over format. (Photo: Hollywood Bets Sports Blog https://blog.hollywoodbets.net/)

Another important event in his development occurred when SJ was appointed captain of the KZN Inland team. At the time, Grant Morgan was moving to take over the Dolphins, while former Inland captain Shane Burger took up the reins as coach of the side.

“They thought if I captained the team it would give me a bigger responsibility to actually take things more seriously. It ended up exactly that way. I felt that it wasn’t just about me personally as a player trying to do well. I was doing it for the team. That’s where Grant Morgan changed the whole Inland set-up. That’s how we started to win trophies, by playing for each other. We ingrained that into our game plan.”

The one thing that was missing, though, was a century. Many times, SJ would make an eighty or a ninety, but then miss out on three figures. In February 2016, that all changed and when he achieved the milestone he went very big.

Facing a decent Namibian team in a Sunfoil 3-Day Cup match in Pietermaritzburg, he and Divan van Wyk put on a huge 306 runs for the opening wicket before Van Wyk departed for 152. SJ, though, was far from done. Coach Shane Burger had predicted that he was due for a big innings and it duly arrived as SJ, in a knock lasting almost seven hours, struck 23 fours in an innings of 200 not out.

“To get a double-hundred after getting a lot of eighties and nineties the years before, there was a sense of relief,” he said. “I also felt like I wasn’t finished. I was relieved, but there wasn’t any massive celebration. But it was a case of this is what it feels like, I need to get more and more. Then the celebrations become a bit bigger and you feel a bit happier. To get a double-hundred was nice, but it was the start of everything.

“Once I got that double-hundred, I then got a list A hundred for the Dolphins, and then a first class hundred the week after that, for the Dolphins again.

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“You get a taste of something and you pick your way through your innings afterwards and see what you did right, what you can do better. You find a process and that’s what clicked for me. Those are processes that you try to repeat day in and day out. That 200 just kick-started me.”

The Inland team also taught SJ life lessons about the vital role of teamwork in cricket, and about taking knocks but then getting back up and fighting. Many of the Inland team were players that other provincial sides had rejected, but they pulled together and won both the 3-Day and T20 provincial titles, convincingly defeating teams that had once deemed them not good enough.

“That’s what Grant Morgan instilled in us. With him getting Shane Burger there, he was a great leader, a great human being, and a great coach afterwards. Our blueprint was yes, you get rejected somewhere else, and things might not go your way, but ultimately there is more to life than just cricket and being successful on the cricket field. It’s the relationships you build around you. You train together every day. You might as well have a good time with each other. That’s how friendships build. Most of us stay in contact with each other, wherever we are around the world, because of the relationships we built in that team during that era.”

Morgan and Burger played crucial roles in SJ’s growth and he regards both men as mentors who were able to extract the best out of him.

On the attack for KZN Inland in the Africa T20 Cup, which the team won in 2017. (Photo: Hollywood Bets Sports Blog, https://blog.hollywoodbets.net/)

One of the most important lessons from Grant Morgan, which he carries with him still, is something one of Morgan’s coaches had told him: You make your mark before lunch, you get in after lunch, and you score your runs after tea.

“That’s the kind of mentality that instilled in me,” SJ said. “Even in the white-ball format, you don’t have to go to a 150 strike rate from the start. Get yourself in and batting gets a touch easier. I’ve tried that over the years and it seems to work.”

In 2017, he had the rare opportunity to represent South Africa in the Hong Kong Sixes. “The Hong Kong Sixes was incredible,” he reckoned. “I watched it as a youngster and it was always something that looked like fun. It was incredible. You saw a small field and balls flying everywhere.

“The guys were had in our side were good guys. We had a lot of fun over those four or five days and we won! I don’t think anyone expected us to win. We got sent to the airport and that was the first time we met with each other. We didn’t have any travel kit. We got to Hong Kong and tried to enjoy our trip. It’s not every day you get to go to Hong Kong and just whack a ball around while experiencing a new country and a new culture. We tried to make the most of the days we had there. It seems like if you try to enjoy something you’re going to do well and that is exactly what happened.”

And even though it wasn’t a major tournament, it was still special to represent the country. “When you hear the national anthem playing and you hear your name announced as playing for South Africa, it is still a privilege. It’s not the ‘real thing’, but to know there are seven of you representing South Africa at a world tournament is quite cool.”

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The coronavirus pandemic has prevented SJ from playing club cricket in the UK this season, but he is hopeful that will happen next year. Coming up, hopefully, though, is duty for the Dolphins. “I think I’ve got to be back in Durban for training on the 15th [of June]. We’ll train in small pods.”

As one of the more established players in the team, and as someone now into his thirties, he still continues to lead, but simply through the example he sets for the younger players.

“As the younger guys come through, they talk to you about things. They look at what you do and not just what you say. We have got a lot of leaders in our side, older guys or more experienced guys. Leadership is not always just about talking, it’s about doing. If I keep performing, training hard, and setting the example for the guys coming through, that’s also leadership.”

SJ remains a faithful supporter of Saint Charles and an inspiration to the boys of the school.

While his school days are long past him now, SJ says there are lessons from Saint Charles that he has carried with him throughout his life. “Saint Charles is a small school. There are a lot of talented and hard-working people at the school. You are expected to show good manners as a Saint Charles’ boy and you need that a lot longer than sporting achievements, because sport only lasts for that long. Life after sports and the relationships you build during your sporting career are very important. Humility and manners, how approachable you are to people are very important.”

He maintains close ties with the school and eagerly follows their cricket programme, which has enjoyed some outstanding successes in recent times, including winning 21 matches in succession in 2019 and reaching the final of the National Schools T20 competition.

“I am very excited to see what Saint Charles is achieving,” SJ said. “It’s nice to see Morné van Wyk as the cricket pro. It shows how seriously they are taking their cricket and it’s shown in how well they have done over the last couple of seasons. Morné will only do good things there. He has always been a hard worker and he has got different ideas and techniques, which will help the kids, not only at school, but also after school.

“I am very, very excited. I follow the sport at Saint Charles closely. I try to stay in contact with the Master in Charge of Sport, Rowan Irons, and Morné. It is brilliant to see how well they are doing and what is going on at the school.”

A golden era of DHS cricket

13 May 2020 – It is a remarkable photo: a collection of supreme cricket talent, all from Durban High School (DHS). Within the photo, taken on the occasion of the centenary of DHS in 1966, are eight test cricketers and three provincial players, writes KZN10.com’s Brad Morgan.

(In photo: back row, left to right: Grayson Heath, Jack Kaplan, Peter Dodds, Barry Richards, Lee Irvine.
Front row, left to right: Richard Dumbrill, Hugh Tayfield, Dennis Gamsy, Leslie Theobald, Trevor Goddard, Geoff Griffin, Colin Wesley)

At the time, the Springboks were one of the leading cricket teams in the world, soon to become recognised as the best, before South Africa was shut out of test cricket from 1971 to 1992 due to the apartheid policies of the country’s government.

Pride of place in terms of achievements from that team must go to Barry Richards, who was 21 at the time of the centenary match.

He played only four test matches in 1970, but went on to make such an impact with Natal, Hampshire and South Australia, with other stints at Gloucestershire and Transvaal too, that Sir Donald Bradman, he of the 99.94 test batting average, named Richards in his Dream XI in 2001. Bradman chose his side from a pool of 69 players and excluded, among others, Brian Lara, Viv Richards and fellow South African, Graeme Pollock. That’s a remarkable statement from the man regarded as the greatest batsman to have played the game.

In late 1970, playing for South Australia against Western Australia, Richards struck an unbeaten 325 runs on the opening day of the four-day Sheffield Shield clash, played on the WACA, which was notorious for its pace.

The Western Australia attack included Graeme McKenzie, who opened for Australia; the great Dennis Lillee who would make his test debut a couple of months later; leg-break bowler, Tony Mann, who played test cricket for Australia; slow left-armer, Tony Lock, who appeared in 49 tests for England; and Aussie international Jon Inverarity. Ian Brayshaw was the sixth bowler in the innings and the only one of them not to appear for his country.

Richards’ stunning innings was for many years the most runs scored by a batsman in first class cricket. It was finally beaten by Brian Lara in 1994, when he made 390 runs against Durham for Warwickshire. Durham had no international bowlers at the time. In fact, they had begun playing first class cricket only two years earlier.

Richards went on to tally 356, out LBW to Mann on a ball that the bowler admitted pitched on leg stump and was a wrong ‘un, set to turn further down the leg.

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During his career, Richards totalled 28 358 runs at 54.74, with 80 centuries. In his only test series, the famous 4-0 whitewash of Australia in South Africa, he scored 508 runs at 72.57. His performances were highlighted by a remarkable stand with Graeme Pollock – in the second test in Durban, appropriately – during which he reached 94 by lunch before going on to make 140, while he and Pollock flayed the Australian attack to all corners of Kingsmead, putting on 103 in an hour.

In 1969, he was named one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year. In their article, Wisden notes: “Richards recognises his debt to Butler, to Wilf Isaacs, who is always ready and keen to help cricket and cricketers in South Africa, and to Leslie Theobald, his cricket master at Durban High School.”

“When Richards captained the South African Schools side in England in 1963, Mr. Theobald was manager, and their partnership produced outstanding results.”

The article concluded: “Richards’ horizons seem limitless, and it will be fascinating to see how far his talents will take him. Few, anywhere in the world, have his possibilities.”

A photo of Barry Richards in his DHS honours’ blazer alongside a bat signed by Richards and Graeme Pollock.

Lee Irvine, a year older than Richards, also played just four tests in 1970 against Australia. Like Richards, he also excelled. He scored 353 runs at 50.42, including 102 in his final test innings on his 26th birthday.

He played 157 first class matches, for Natal, Essex and Transvaal, tallying 9 919 runs at 40.48, with 21 centuries. It should be mentioned that in those days pitches were tailored to a more equal battle between bat and ball. Nowadays the balance has tilted in favour of batsmen with television’s focus on providing entertainment. Thus, an average of 40, which is very good, would, arguably, have been closer to 50 in today’s conditions.

Ali Bacher, the captain of the 1970 Springboks, once called Irvine the most under-rated batsman in South Africa. “He seemed always to live in the shadows of Barry Richards and Graeme Pollock. What I saw of him during the five-year period we played together, he was certainly in their league,” he said in a newspaper report in The Citizen in 2014.

Interestingly, Irvine and Richards played together for two years at DHS – Richards was a year younger – and Irvine, in his matric year, performed better than Richards managed in any of his three years in the 1st XI, scoring 1 310 runs at an average of 68.95.

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“There was no question he was a world class batsman. He was light on his feet, had terrific footwork and he was a beautiful timer of the ball, very similar to AB de Villiers,” Bacher said.

Leading cricket commentator Mark Nicholas compared Irvine, a wicket-keeper, to Australian Adam Gilchrist, high praise indeed.

After his playing days were over, Irvine became a familiar voice to radio listeners and television viewers of cricket.

As if two world class talents were not enough in the centenary match of 1966, there was a third: off-spin bowler Hugh Tayfield. For many years, he was South Africa’s leading test wicket-taker and in 1956 he was named one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year.

DHS old boys: Jon “Pom Pom” Fellows-Smith, Geoff Griffin, Colin Wesley, Trevor Goddard and Hugh Tayfield. all members of the South African national team that toured England in 1960.

In an article about his selection, the publication wrote: “In the seventeen Tests played by South Africa from 1952 to the end of the 1955 tour of England, J. E. Cheetham’s spin bowlers accounted for 109 batsmen. Of these, no fewer than 87 fell to the guileful, tenacious Tayfield, an average of four out of every five.”

It also recognised the development of Tayfield at DHS: “As a boy, Hugh bowled out of the back of his hand and though his batting and fielding were sufficient to keep him in the Durban High School XI his opportunities with the ball were limited. The turning-point in Tayfield’s career occurred when the school captain, also a leg-break bowler, suggested that Tayfield should try his hand at off-breaks.

“At his first attempt Hugh took two or three good wickets and promptly resolved to concentrate on his new-found art. Tayfield cannot recall being coached or modelling his technique on that of any other bowler, but he progressed so rapidly that soon after his seventeenth birthday he made his first-class debut for Natal. The following season, 1946-47, he helped Natal to win the revived Currie Cup competition and attracted special attention by taking six for 27 and six for 46 in friendly matches against Rhodesia and Transvaal respectively.”

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The 13 for 165 he took against Australia in Melbourne in 1956 remains the third best test return ever by a South African bowler and he, alone, is the only South African to take 13 wickets in a test twice. His 9 for 113 in England’s second innings in Johannesburg in 1957 is the best return in an innings by a South African, and it also saw the Springboks to a narrow 17-run victory.

Tayfield’s test career spanned 11 years – from 1949 to 1960 – and 37 test matches (South Africa played only England, Australia and New Zealand in those days), during which he took 170 wickets. His obituary in Wisden in 1994 noted that he took more wickets per test than Jim Laker (he of the famous 19 for 90 against Australia in 1956) and more, too, than the great West Indian, Lance Gibbs.

Tayfield also holds the test record of sending down 137 balls without conceding a run against England in Durban in 1957.

He played in 187 first class matches, capturing 864 wickets at just 21.86 per wicket. His test economy rate was just 1.94 runs per over and his first class economy rate of 2.06 was very slightly higher.

He also scored 862 runs in tests and 3 668 in first class cricket, with a best of 75 in tests and 77 in first class games.

To this day, Hugh Tayfield remains, comfortably, the leading test wicket-taker all-time among South African spinners.

Trevor Goddard, a left-handed all-rounder, was also part of the legendary Springbok side of 1970. But he enjoyed a much longer test career, having played for South Africa for the first time in 1955.

He played 41 test matches, scoring 2 516 runs at an average of 34.46. A century, though, eluded him until his 62nd innings, when he scored 112 in the second innings of the fourth test against England in Johannesburg in 1965, having made 60 before being run out in the first.

Goddard also captured 123 wickets at 26.22. He gave little away with the ball and his economy rate of just 1.64 runs per over is the best in test history for bowlers taking 30 or more wickets.

He is also part of a small, select group of players who have opened both the batting and bowling in the same test for their country. Interestingly, one of the other South Africans to have achieved the feat was Herbie Taylor, who did it twice in 1914 against England. Taylor also attended DHS and, like Barry Richards and Hugh Tayfield, was named one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year, with his recognition coming in 1925.

According to Sir Donald Bradman, Goddard was “a very fine cricketer”.

Goddard played 179 first class matches, scoring 11 289 at 40.60, including 26 centuries, and took 534 wickets at 21.65.

Geoff Griffin is an interesting name among these great DHS old boys and cricketers. He played only two test matches, but he achieved a first by a South African, which can never be taken away from him

In the second test of South Africa’s tour of England in 1960, Griffin claimed a hat-trick, removing MJK Smith, Peter Walker and Fred Trueman. Not only does his hat-trick remain the only instance of a South African taking a test hat-trick, it is also the only instance of it occurring at Lords, the home of cricket.

Unfortunately, he was also no-balled in that test on a number of occasions for throwing. His throwing issues stemmed from an accident when he was in school which left him unable to fully straighten his arm. The no ball calls led to Griffin, remarkably, claiming a hat-trick in his second and last test.

Sadly the throwing problem was never resolved and Geoff Griffin’s first class career came to an end at the age of only 23. He captured 108 wickets at 21.61 and scored 895 runs at 17.90.

It is a credit to Griffin’s character that when a lawyer offered to represent him in court on the subject of his action, Griffin, as reported by Cricinfo in his obituary, declined as he did not wish “to sully the great game further”.

A remarkably talented all-round sportsman, he won Natal schools’ titles in long jump, high jump, triple jump and the pole vault. He also played hockey for Rhodesia.

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Wicketkeeper Dennis Gamsy was another member of the 1970 South African team, who played in the first two tests before making way for the experienced Denis Lindsay, the hero of the 1966/67 series against Australia.

Easily recognised by his distinctive glasses, Gamsy also played 93 first class matches for Natal, scoring 3 106 runs at 23.70, with a batting best of 137. He took 278 catches and effected 33 stumpings.

Richard Dumbrill also donned the green cap of the Springboks, playing in five tests in the mid-sixties. In fact, his last test, against Australia, started on 31 December 1966 at Newlands, therefore in the centenary of DHS.

His first test, a draw against England at Lords in July 1965, was his most successful. He took 3 for 31 in 24 overs in England’s first innings and followed up with 4 for 30 in 18 overs in the second to finish with match figures of 7 for 61.

Dumbrill’s first class career lasted 51 matches. In that time he tallied 1 761 runs at 23.48 and claimed 132 wickets at 22.03, with a best return of 5 for 34.

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Colin “Tich” Wesley was selected for three tests during South Africa’s 1960 tour of England. Like Dumbrill, he played just 51 first class games. He scored 1 892 runs at 27.02, including three centuries, with a high score of 131.

A part-time bowler, Wesley picked up 15 wickets at a healthy average of 23.60, conceding 2.31 runs per over.

The remaining three players in the photo all played provincial cricket. Grayson Heath turned out in 46 first class matches, scoring 2 029 runs at 31.21, with a top score of 159 not out. He also claimed 36 wickets at 29.08.

Importantly, he also oversaw the merger of DHS Old Boys and the Pirates Kismet Cricket Club at a time when the DHSOB club, previously home to a long list of top cricket stars, went through a downswing. Today, that club is the DHS Rhythm Cricket Club.

Peter Dodds turned out for both Natal and Transvaal. A slow left-armer, he took 120 wickets in 39 first class games at 29.07, including a best of 7 for 51.

Jack Kaplan, a right-hand batsman and wicketkeeper, played in eight first class matches between the 1948/49 and 1951/52 seasons. He batted only 11 times, recording a high score of 62. He also bagged 15 catches and a remarkably high eight stumpings.

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About the centenary match, which was played at the DHS Old Boys’ Club: It was a two-day, two-innings, contest between the DHSOB XI and a Natal XI.

The Rest of Natal XI featured four Springboks: captain Jackie McGlew, Peter Carlstein, Mike Proctor and Pat Trimborn. It also featured another two DHS old boys, namely Charles Sullivan and Peter Marais.

In the game, Richard Dumbrill struck 114 and shared a partnership of 127 with Lee Irvine in the DHSOB XI’s first innings, but they found themselves trailing by 64 runs. The Old Boys were subsequently set a target of 188 runs to win in two-and-a-half hours and managed it in just an hour and 47 minutes for the loss of seven wickets to claim a three-wicket victory.

To this day, no school has produced as many South African test cricketers as Durban High School.

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