Standout fast bowler Ottniel Baartman is ready to pack his bags for his big move from the Knights to the Dolphins with an eye on pushing his cricketing career to the next level, and using the depth of medical and conditioning expertise at the Durban franchise to prepare himself for the season ahead.
The bowler, who hails from Oudtshoorn, originally was impressive in the One-Day Cup for the Knights this season and caught the attention of Dolphins coach Imraan Khan, who asked whether the 27-year-old wanted to make the change to the Dolphins.
‘When I got the call I knew it was a big decision, given how far away from home Durban is,’ Baartman said.
‘I gave it some thought but I knew that it was something that I had to do. If I wanted to push my career further I needed a change and I am looking forward to making the move to Durban once this lockdown is finished.
‘The decision to move is part of a bigger plan for me and my girlfriend understands that.’
Baartman is excited by the change in scenery and is hoping to make the most of having a Test venue as his home ground.
‘It’s massive that I will be able to play my cricket at Kingsmead Stadium, it’s one of the best grounds in the country and the conditions are very different to what I am used to. The wicket will offer something very different and I know that it will be a good test of my skills,’ he added.
‘It’s important that I can bowl in all conditions, so to be able to learn new skills in Durban will be crucial for me going forward.’
Despite the distance from home, Baartman is comfortable that he will fit in well in the Dolphins environment.
‘I know a lot of the guys because I have played against them for many years,’ he said.
‘Keshav [Maharaj] has already phoned me and welcomed me into the franchise, which was great and I know just can’t wait to get going again.’
Baartman is currently working his way back from injury, so the off-season couldn’t have come at a better time for him. He is confident that he will be fit and firing when the season starts.
‘I have struggled with injuries recently but the management team at the Dolphins have already got me on a rehabilitation programme,’ he added.
‘I will also be coming to Durban as soon as possible to continue my rehab with the conditioning staff.’
Photo: Gallo Images