NWU cricket team, ‘best in the world’
Potchefstroom – 'Best in the world'… It is a moniker bestowed on a select few, a testament to the absolute dedication to one's art. Whether as a prefix or a suffix, from 16 September to the start of the Varsity Cricket tournament in early 2018, it is the moniker that will either precede or succeed the name of the North-West University's (NWU) cricket team.
This after Conrad de Swardt's team added to their Varsity Cricket crown by winning the Red Bull Campus Cricket World Final in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The tournament featured players from South Africa, Australia, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe.
The NWU, officially representing South Africa, made easy enough work of their island nation hosts in the final by chasing down their total of 121 all out in just 15.2 overs. The NWU started their campaign with a nail-biting 6-wicket win over Australia before beating India (72 runs), Pakistan (76 runs) and Bangladesh (7 wickets).
Janneman Malan walked out of the tournament as the top run scorer with 259 runs as well as the competition's most valuable player. The next best was another NWU star, Wihan Lubbe, with 152 runs and the accolade as the third most valuable player. The NWU's Dyllin Matthews was the leading wicket taker with 12 scalps.
According to NWU coach Conrad de Swardt it was an experience to savour: “It sounds almost a bit weird to be called the best university cricket team in the world. It took a lot of hard work getting here, it was a three to four year process to mould this team into the shape that it is now. I think the greatest thing is seeing how boys grew into young, responsible men who now will be playing cricket in the T20 Global League.”
De Swardt is, however, adamant that the club's success should not be credited to his input alone. “This club would not have been able to achieve the success it has without the dedication of Niel Bredenkamp, Pieter Knoetze and Walter Fokkens. They have an unbelievable work ethic and an unwavering commitment to the club. All credit to them as well.”
© 2017 - All Rights with Platinum Weekly