Reader Denovan Ekstraal shares his cricketing journey and his dream of playing league cricket in England.
I remember my dad waking me up at 5 o’clock to go for a run every vacation morning and then throwing me throw-downs just before lunch. When I got into the SWD set-up, it was a dream come true.
I made the SWD U13B team and had a great tournament, and was picked 5th in the SA U13 team. After that I was a regular member in the SWD squads.
Then I was part of the SWD senior squad where I played only one senior game. Thereafter the SWD board contracted six provincial players from other provinces, and so I didn’t see a future there for me anymore.
One day I was asked if I was interested in playing overseas cricket in England, so my parents spoke to me that night and I said yes to them, but only to find out that someone else’s CV was sent the morning after.
I was in tears because it was always a dream to go to England, so I made a decision to move to Cape Town to play for St Augustine’s Cricket Club, and from there scored my first Premier League 100 and took lots of wickets.
I also managed to get an agent’s number and finally managed to go to England where I played six seasons for different clubs all over England, scoring over 2287 league runs with a average of 27.89, as well as taking 152 wickets.
Now I am currently playing in Pretoria for Eersterust Cricket Club, and during my first season here I was blessed to get the most wickets in the season in the promotion league.
I thank God every day that he has blessed me with such a cricketing talent.
– Denovan Ekstraal
Photo: Peter Heeger/Gallo Images