Twenty-one-year-old SA Emerging batsman Janneman Malan speaks about enjoying the life of a professional cricketer.
The summer hasn’t even started yet, but already Malan is enjoying the season of his life.
The opening batsman was one of the standout players for the SA Emerging Squad during the winter, where he smashed 108 off 79 balls (14 fours, 5 sixes) before following it up with another rapid half-century in the one-day series against Zimbabwe A.
These power-hitting displays certainly caught the attention, leading to Malan earning a lucrative Global T20 League contract with the Bloem City Blazers in the inaugural player draft.
Considering that Malan is still only 21 years old, and a marketing and tourism student at North West University, he may have to purchase the next round of drinks when he’s out on the town in Potchefstroom again.
‘Fortunately, a few of us have been picked up, so we can still split the drinks bill when we go out,’ Malan said as he chuckled.
‘Seriously, though, it’s a dream of any young player to be picked up in such a big tournament. It’s just such a great opportunity and platform and I’m really looking forward to sharing a dressing room with such experienced international players to see what level I am at and how hard I still need to work to get to that level.’
It is back to the hard graft for Malan this weekend at his home ground, Senwes Park, though, where he will be looking to impress his new employers with a few more good performances for North West in the Africa T20 Cup.
The opening batsman is definitely eager to make the most of the conditions, especially with Senwes Park renowned for its batting-friendly pitch.
‘It is a lekker batting wicket. I really enjoy batting at Senwes Park. I think I am naturally a clean hitter of the ball, so I don’t try to force it too much. I just try to stand still at the crease and use the pace of the bowlers,’ Malan said.
‘With only two fielders allowed on the boundary during the power play overs, I obviously have my scoring areas, but it is more about trying to stick to my basics than doing anything silly.’
North West have been pitted in a tough group this weekend. They face inaugural champions Northerns in the second match on Friday, before facing the current defending champions, Eastern Province, on Saturday.
The hosts then close the second round of the Africa T20 Cup with a Highveld derby against neighbours Gauteng on Sunday afternoon.