Former Proteas wicketkeeper-batsman Heino Kuhn will retire from cricket after the 4-Day Series match between the North West Dragons and Western Province.
No play was possible on the first three days of the match in Potchefstroom due to rain and a wet outfield.
“I felt that it was the right time to retire,” said the 38-year-old Dragons captain. “Ending my career on my new home field in Potch is fitting. When I decided to join the Dragons in 2021, I felt that I could really help the franchise with my experience and make a difference from a leadership role. This is my 18th year so I try to help everywhere I can.”
Kuhn’s retirement is also due to an offer he received to be an assistant coach for the Netherlands national team. It will be a full circle moment for Kuhn, who will coach former Titans teammate Roelof van der Merwe.
“Roelof and I have a long history,” said Kuhn. ‘We played numerous matches together at the Titans. I remember once we decided to swop roles during a club cricket game. Originally, he was keeping and I bowled leg-spin. We then decided that I should take up the gloves as wicketkeeper and he bowled left-arm spin, not knowing that we would actually do that for the rest of our cricketing careers. It worked quite well for us!”
Kuhn says scoring 119 in a 4-Day Series match against the Titans was a highlight of his stint at the Dragons.
“That match was special. Every game for the Dragons had a certain highlight and I really enjoyed my time here. I really enjoyed working with Craig [Alexander] as head coach too.”
Kuhn starred for an Affies 1st XI that included Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers, before going on to play with them at the Titans.
“Affies was the start of my cricket career and I have always had the privilege of playing with excellent players since high school, all the way through club cricket system and the Titans,” he recalled.
Kuhn enjoyed 13 trophy-laden seasons at the Titans and SuperSport Park in Centurion remains his favourite ground.
“My favourite innings was also for the Titans where I scored my first double century  against the Dolphins in 2007,” he said. “I had a bad run of form and I was promoted up the order. Everything clicked on that day in Pietermaritzburg and I proved to myself that I could perform at that level at an early stage of my career.”
Kuhn was later call-up to the SA A side that toured England. In 2o17, he earned a first Test cap for the Proteas against England at Lords.
“That was a special moment, being able to make my debut against Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad. It is something that I will always remember,” says Kuhn, who represented his country in four Tests and seven T20Is.
Kuhn’s stint with Kent, from 2018 to 2021 was also filled with special moments.
“I really wanted to test myself in England on the county circuit. I got the opportunity to play for Kent and I really liked the systems that were in place there and helping in creating a winning culture. I also got to spend time with a number of top players and it really felt like a family.”
Family and relationships have also played a vital part in the longevity of Kuhn’s career.
“I’ve had a superb support structure with my parents, brothers and sister always being there for me. My wife [Trudie] and daughter Abigail  has always been there for me supporting me, wherever I go. They made me the man I am today.”
After nearly two decades of cricket as a professional, Kuhn ends off with a piece of wisdom for the next generation of cricketers.
“It is an amazing job to play cricket for a living. You see different parts of the world. I believe the most important part is just to enjoy cricket and not to take it for granted. Play with a smile on your face.”