Former Northamptonshire all-rounder Rory Kleinveldt says County Cricket made him a more attacking bowler as he calls time on his career in England, writes KHALID MOHIDIN.
The championship has housed many Saffas over the years. Some players see the opportunity as an attempt to bring in more cash (particularly in the back end of their careers), while Kleinveldt took the opportunity of using the experience to build himself as a player. He played one season for Hampshire in 2008 and then spent four years playing for Northamptonshire, from 2015 to 2018.
In between the all-rounder played for his local side, the Cobras, where he has now returned to see out the remaining time in his career.
‘It was a good four years there [at Northamptonshire]. It was tough. They call it the County grind and it eventually caught up with me in my fourth year,’ said Kleinveldt who called it quits in the middle of the 2018 County championship season.
‘It was an amazing experience. I played in an amazing team, a small county, but a good team and environment to be a part of.’
Kleinveldt has been involved in two T20 Blast finals and contributed to Northamptonshire’s victory in 2016’s final.
He has scored over 1 200 runs and taken 140 wickets in the County Championship, with best innings figures of 9-65. He also took 57 wickets in his first season for the country (2015) and 50 in 2017.
It’s an opportunity he says that made him a better player. He shared some light into what he learned during his time in England and highlighted some of the differences between local and overseas coaches.
‘I think personally for me what I learned over there is to bowl a lot more attacking line and lengths, especially in red-ball cricket.
‘It’s a different game over there compared to here, (as you are) using the Duke (ball) so you always have something to work with in terms of swing and movement, (whereas in South Africa) it’s a lot tougher with a Kookaburra because it doesn’t swing as much. But I have learned to be a lot more attacking as a bowler over there,’ he added.
‘They [coaches] are a lot more laid back there compared to how they are here. We demand much more from our players here than over there – which is a good thing. With their laid-back approach, they are probably more willing to take more risks, but that also comes with a lot more cricket.
‘We’ve got fewer opportunities to showcase our skills. They have 16 first-class games a year so you can afford to fail three times, where if you fail three times here you get dropped. They have a little more leeway there.’
Internationally, Kleinveldt had brief stints in Tests, ODIs and T20Is, but made more of an impact with his bowling. He took 10 wickets in four Tests, 12 in 10 ODIs and nine wickets in six T20Is.
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