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Ken Borland

Erwee looks like a boxer but he’s candid about the mountains he has had to climb 0

Posted on March 30, 2022 by Ken

Sarel Erwee has the physique of a boxer and the mental focus of an endurance athlete, but the man from Pietermaritzburg was candid about the personal mountains he has had to climb in order to play Test cricket.

The 32-year-old reached the summit of his journey on Friday as he notched his maiden Test century in just his second game, his 108 leading the Proteas to a commanding 238/3 at the end of the first day of the second Test against New Zealand in Christchurch.

“It’s a very special day for me, 28 months ago I didn’t think I was even close to the Test squad, in fact I was one phone call away from calling it quits on my cricket career,” Erwee revealed.

“But thanks to my parents’ encouragement and the help of a sports performance psychologist I began seeing in Durban, I got motivated again to give my best. We worked on my mental wellbeing.

“That was the turning point, it was daily work and a hard slog, but I could not just give up all the years I had sacrificed, even though at one stage it felt pointless and I felt worthless.

“But thanks to them I sit here today with a Test hundred behind my name, which is extremely special, even more so because of all the hard yards to get here,” Erwee said.

The left-handed opener was adroit in his shot-selection, showing great resilience, restraint and composure as South Africa elected to bat first in tricky conditions. Erwee showed a clear focus on playing straight, leaving well and putting away shots like the cover-drive that could get him in trouble early on in his innings.

“A lot has been said about the first Test and our preparation, and our backs were against the wall today,” Erwee said. “We had to stand up and deliver a punch and the best way to do that was by sticking to the basics.

“The way we performed today is going to be very uplifting for the next four days. We were all on the same page and we had a clear mindset before we went in to bat.

“The wind played more of a role today and the ball swung all day. But we are here to win, we want to leave these shores at 1-1 in the Test series.

“To do that we’ve got to man up, front up, and that’s what we did today. It’s a new Test with new energies, and if it meant batting first on a greenish pitch then so be it,” Erwee said.

A moving farewell for a Titan of the game 0

Posted on November 09, 2015 by Ken


The Titans recently took leave of one of their most inspirational players when they held a farewell function for batsman Jacques Rudolph, who has ended his South African career in order to focus on his commitments as captain of Glamorgan.

Rudolph, a compact left-hander whose 49 first-class centuries show his ability perhaps better than his Test average of 35, gave a moving address in which he was often in tears and which showed why he was one of the most popular players on the domestic circuit.

“One can dedicate one’s life to an institution and walk away with only a handshake, so this is a great evening to end a great journey,” Rudolph said. “The agreement is that next October I will be sitting on the grass embankment with my son, who will hopefully be starting to walk, and hear Loslappie [the Titans’ team song] roaring out from the changeroom.”

The 34-year-old tried his hand at international cricket with decent success, scoring six Test centuries and 11 fifties in 48 Tests, as well as averaging 35 in 45 ODIs, but what happened at the very start of his career with the national team, when he was pulled from the team by then UCB president Percy Sonn on the eve of his debut Test, probably did not help the confidence of a 21-year-old as he was back then in Sydney.

“There’s a strong perception that my career was marred by politics, what with the interference in selection in 2001/02, but I’m thankful for that because it gave me resilience and perseverance, it enabled me to overcome any adversity. I have no regrets, it only made me stronger,” Rudolph said with typical magnanimity.

He was indeed able to handle any attack on his day, but he has also made a massive difference off the field at Centurion.

“The stats only tell half the story. He’s one of the nicest okes to work with and there are so many people he’s touched while he’s been here. Junior players come to me and say what an inspiration he’s been. Scoring 20 000 runs is one thing, but he’s also provided a much-needed lift in the changeroom,” Titans CEO Jacques Faul said.

The inspiration continued in his parting words as Rudolph gave some worthy advice to the young cricketers present.

“Arrogance comes before a fall. I remember when I was 21 and I had just scored a double-century for South Africa and I came back to the Titans. Gerald Dros had to call me aside and tell me that I needed to come down a peg or two before I had become arrogant. That was life-changing.

“You won’t succeed if you are arrogant. The All Blacks are a great example, they beat a lot of teams but they are very humble and always spend time with the opposition. Make friends and learn from them, treat people with dignity and respect, South Africa creates a certain environment, but we need to break barriers and reach out.

“You can’t start soon enough to save money because before you know it, your career can be taken away. I learnt too late sadly about financial discipline because life is expensive.

“Teams win championships and not individuals – individuals win you games. And your identity musn’t be linked to how you perform or your abilities. The best batsmen only reach fifty once in every three innings, so you fail a lot more than you succeed in this game. Don’t link your value as a person to how you perform or what people think of you,” Rudolph said.

The applause should ring out for Jacques Rudolph for all the pleasure he gave local cricket fans and the contribution he made to South African cricket.


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    Persevere in your service as Christ did – through obstacles, disappointment and adversity, and never give up hope.

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