Two months ago 23-year-old Dayyaan Galiem walked away as the big winner at the Multiply Titans’ annual awards dinner having claimed three top prizes. He chatted to ANDRE HUISAMEN about his breakthrough season at the Pretoria-based team.
In May last year the former Rondebosch Boys’ High pupil traded his beloved Cape Town for an opportunity in the capital that was just too good to ignore.
Having thought long and hard about the prospect of joining one of the top domestic teams in the country, Galiem made the move up north. The backing he would receive to help him surge to Newcomer of the Year, First-Class Player of the Year and, ultimately, Player of the Season at the Sky Blues came quite unexpectedly, though.
NEWS: Dayyaan Galiem wins big at Titans Awards, taking home three accolades.
— The Titans (@Titans_Cricket) July 23, 2020
‘It was a bit of a risk and I was nervous moving up to the Titans. There are a lot of big names and big players that you are walking into – making for a tough dressing room,’ he says, while admitting that his achievements have been a tad overwhelming.
‘When I reflect, it confirms that I made the right move as it was a long and tough decision to make to get out of my comfort zone. But, it has been unbelievable and easy to mix with the guys. The coaches were really good to me, too, and that played a really big part in the success that I had.
‘The coaches had a lot of confidence in me to do well and they put me in positions where I could feel that they back me.’
But, apart from the warm welcome, Galiem rose the occasion of what the opportunity truly represented. In the end, he knew it was still up to him to make the most of it.
Finishing as the Titans’ leading wicket-taker – 21 at an average of 35.23 – in the 4-Day Franchise while adding 11 scalps in the Momentum One-Day Cup before both tournaments were prematurely ended due to Covid-19, Galiem emerged as a bright young star in a somewhat new-look Titans set-up.
The confidence, though, to settle in as quickly as he did was a major boost derived from the team environment and determination of the Titans coaching staff to develop his talent.
‘Confidence is a big part of everything. They [the coaches] have been driving me, pushing me and telling me I can get to heights beyond this. I’ve been put under pressure in training and in games and they’ve been challenging me.
‘Putting me in big roles, coming straight into the team. They have really given me lots of responsibility with the ball. Opening the bowling, you know, that is a lot of responsibility.
‘In a way it was nerve-wracking but it is also nice because they show that they are backing me and that was a big part of the level of confidence they had in me,’ he continued.
But, Galiem is only getting started and hopes his recent success can be the stepping stone for something bigger – maybe a berth with a South African A or Proteas side one day.
‘I always set high expectations for myself and coming into the season I just wanted to do well and give it 100%. Last year at the national academy, I bowled really nicely leading up to the season, so I just came in with an open mind to do well and perform for the team.
‘I’ve done really well but I think I can do better, so hopefully next season if the performances can just keep piling up and keep getting better.
‘Performing consistently is a big factor and if I get an opportunity it is important to grab it. You’ll get rewarded eventually, that’s how the game works.’