“This tournament has been really refreshing for amateur cricket, it’s exciting and something for young cricketers to really look forward to. I believe this is a defining moment in amateur cricket because we’ve started to question the standard of club cricket, but varsity cricket can now open more avenues.
“It’s exciting and very necessary, an awesome event for young cricketers and an extraordinary experience for them,” De Bruyn said after his team had wrapped up a 3-0 series whitewash over the Steinhoff Maties at the University of Pretoria.
Maties secured a moral victory in the last game as they put Tukkies under pressure before a late comeback with the ball by the national club champions secured victory, and captain Emile Kriek said his team had been a bit overawed by the occasion.
“It’s an amazing event, an awesome concept and the atmosphere was amazing too. It’s what university cricket needs and we need to get it on TV. I’m lucky to have played first-class cricket and some white-ball cricket, but not many of our guys have and it was all a bit much for them in the first game. Losing that then made it very hard to get momentum in a best-of-three, but in the third game we just had nobody to finish off.
“Our okes had their heads in the clouds a bit, you’ve got to keep doing the basics and Tukkies did the basics a lot better than us, especially their death bowling and individual decision-making. They’re a well-trained and well-drilled team,” Kriek said.
The Maties captain said his team had particularly struggled to score runs up front.
“The starts we had – in the first six overs we’d lose three wickets – were a problem. Obviously we’re disappointed, but the tournament has been a big positive for us. Hopefully we will come back and do well in this competition because you have not seen the best of us,” were his parting words.
De Bruyn said his team had been “ruthless and clinical”.
“From the start we said we wanted to dominate this event and use home ground advantage and we were ruthless and clinical. I’m extremely proud of how the guys conducted themselves, we controlled the tournament and achieved our goals,” De Bruyn said.
The former Titans, Dolphins and Norfolk all-rounder said his sights are now set on achieving similar results at the Red Bull Campus Cricket World Finals in England in July.
“We’ve showed we mean business and we’re going to go to England with purpose. We don’t know what to expect in terms of the opposition, but I played in the UK for 10 seasons, so I know how to prepare and play in those conditions,” De Bruyn said.
University Sport South Africa cricket chairman Riaan Osman said his organisation were delighted to endorse Red Bull Campus Cricket.
“It’s a brilliant innovation for USSA cricket and the student cricket family. We’ve been working for quite some time on a different platform for our student cricketers and hopefully this will be the catalyst for something like that, something new,” Osman said.