Awards, golfing and prepping for Zim
It’s freezing here in Gauteng! After the heat of India for a few months, this is quite a shock to the system. I’m really feeling it in my house as I’ve got tiled floors and lots of glass windows, so it’s certainly not conducive to retaining warmth. It’s definitely a summer house and I can’t wait for the heat to return.
This week the focus is on regrouping with the national squad at Arabella in the Cape, and preparing for the weeks and months ahead. Basically, the first day is taken up by fitness evaluations and some meetings where we reassess our goals and make sure that everyone is on the same page with regards the upcoming tours.
That’s followed by the golf day, which is a great experience, as it involves all the guys who have played for South Africa in the past – the ones who are available. Last year I got to play with Adam Bacher and Adrian Kuiper, which I really enjoyed as Kuiper was a bit of a big-hitting legend in his time. They are both really nice guys and I got so much from playing golf with them. What was clear was that they both have a lot of respect for South African cricket and it was just great chatting to them about how it was for them, back in the day, and how it compares to today. Also, what they are getting up to currently.
Just recapping the SA Cricket Awards last week, it was very encouraging picking up the Domestic Players’ Player of the Year award as that was voted for by my fellow players obviously. It was nice to know that they felt I deserved an award, as I feel I’ve had a good season. I was actually up for three awards and if I’m honest, I expected to win at least one. That being said, it is just a trophy, although it was nice to get the recognition from my fellow players.
Also getting recognition was Vernon Philander, who was rewarded for a fantastic season with the top awards. It was actually a great evening and I got to mix with some guys from the corporate world, which was a nice change. I also had former Proteas coach Corrie van Zyl at my table and the head of the High Performance Centre in Pretoria, Toby Sutcliffe – that was an interesting chat, as we talked about the Olympics and the preparations taking place there at the moment.
Earlier in the day we had the SA Cricket golf day and I had an interesting fourball, which included comedian Joey Rasdien. That made for an entertaining 18 holes and we actually walked away with third prize, much to some of my teammates’ disgust! Joey is incredibly funny and it was one of the more amusing rounds of golf I’ve ever had.
Otherwise, I’ve enjoyed a fairly relaxing last week or so since returning from India and the Seychelles. I gave myself a few days off, but after that it was back in the gym doing some cardio work and I’ve also had a few nets with Morne Morkel bowling to me. I’ve got a busy few weeks ahead of me with the national T20 side and the SA ‘A’ team, so I want to make sure I’m prepared.
I’ll touch base next week from Zimbabwe where I’ll be for the T20 triangular series, which also involves Bangladesh.