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Ken Borland

Leicestershire reignited Mulder’s love for cricket when he was at the point of saying goodbye

Posted on December 29, 2022 by Ken

Wiaan Mulder says he was almost at the point of saying goodbye to the game before a stellar season of county cricket with Leicestershire reignited his love for the sport, and now he is eager just to get out on to the field as often as possible for the Central Gauteng Lions and the Durban Super Giants.

In and out of the national squad, and more often than not touring without getting regular game-time, Mulder says his focus is no longer on proving anything to the national selectors. The 24-year-old is considered one of South Africa’s brightest all-round talents, and was first picked for the Proteas five years ago. Former national coach Ottis Gibson was much enamoured by his skills, but Mulder was arguably thrown into the deep end too soon, and his talent was almost wasted.

“I’ve travelled a lot with the Proteas without really playing, whether in red-ball or white-ball cricket,” Mulder told The Citizen. “I just never had a full run, it’s difficult playing a Test or an ODI here or there.

“At international level, you’re always competing against very good players and sometimes you don’t get as many chances as you want. You have to take what comes and you don’t play for two months and then you’re playing for your life.

“I hadn’t been enjoying my cricket for a long time, and signing with Leicestershire, my goal was to find my love for the game again, it was a great opportunity, with the freedom to just be myself.

“I almost called it quits on my career, but I’ve come a long way since then and I really want to thank Leicestershire for the belief they showed in me, which pushed me through. I think my happiness showed in my performances,” Mulder said.

The St Stithians product was named Leicestershire’s players’ player of the year and was also the fans’ favourite after a brilliant season with both bat and ball in all formats.

Durban Super Giants also gave his ability in the shortest format a big vote of confidence when they bought him for R1.9 million in the SA20 Auction.

Mulder will return to action next week as part of a strong Lions outfit in the CSA T20 Challenge, and he says the ball is coming nicely out of the hand and he is hitting it sweet with the bat as well.

“I’m quite confident, I had a really nice run with Leicestershire in the T20s and in the Lions’ warm-ups, I executed my skills well. But form is temporary, we know how it works in cricket, you never know how it’s going to go.

“But I’m trying to shift my mindset away from worrying about form and just trying to give as much as I can to whatever team I’m playing for.

“As a batsman, I’m no Kieron Pollard, but I can find a way to score boundaries and have a decent strike-rate. I’ve worked hard on my boundary hitting, for when conditions and the situation are compatible.

“I was batting at five for Leicestershire and the more time I have, the better I play. Often I would go in in the powerplay. I would love to be able to play like Rassie van der Dussen, who is so consistent, he always gives himself a chance, but can also hit his first ball for six if that’s what the team needs,” Mulder said.

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    Mark 7:8 – “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

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