Chad Bowes chases his cricketing dream and is sure to have a bright future

2012-09-22 00:00

NOT many five-year-olds can claim to have an ambition which they still pursue later in life, but Chad Bowes (19) is an exception. From that age, he had a cricketing dream to play for South Africa and, as captain of the SA U19 team at the recent U19 World Cup in Australia, he is well on his way to fulfilling his talent, promise and passion in the game.

He matured as a player at Kearsney College, setting a record that will be tough to break.

“I played in the first cricket team from Grade 9 to Grade 12, notching up 88 caps, an all time record at Kearsney. My best innings was 150 and I made the KZN U19 team three years running,” said the stylish right handed opening batsman.

After school, he focused on cricket, although he has plans to study next year. He doesn’t know what, although he “is keen to get something behind me for later years”.

“Cricket only gives a certain number of years to players and I want to make full use of those years, hence playing before studying at this stage. All my achievements to date are stepping stones to my greater goal of playing for the Proteas.”

A provincial tournament in Cape Town in January this year saw Bowes selected for the SA U19 side to play in a triangular against Zimbabwe and Pakistan, in Cape Town.

Bowes said: “The side was skippered by Lions player Quinton de Kock and we won the tournament.

“I made two 50s that must have left an impression as I was called to the high performance academy in Pretoria from May to July as part of the extended U19 World Cup squad.”

Under former Proteas coach Ray Jennings, Bowes and company underwent extensive training, with particular focus on fitness and conditioning. At the end of it, he was announced as captain to lead the U19 side to Australia.

“Although Ray and I had discussed whether I would be keen to lead the side — and of course I was — it still came as a surprise and honour.”

A week before the tournament, Bowes fractured his pinkie on his right hand during the final warm-up match. Special splints were made as he had no chance of sitting out the six weeks recommended by doctors.

It never hampered his batting but he was forced to give up his beloved fielding spot at backward point — he is known as Jonty in the team for his fielding exploits — and field at the more mundane mid-off position.

Somewhat disappointed to lose to defending champs Australia in the semi-finals, Bowes is richer for the experience and remained in good form throughout.

In the group matches he compiled 19 v Bangladesh, 115 v Namibia and 46 v Sri Lanka. This after 36* v New Zealand and 104* v Bangladesh in warm-up matches.

“We were riding high going into the quarters against England and a strong 103-run win — I made another 46 — had us at full momentum for the Aussie showdown.

“Cricket being the game it is, it was not our day. We lost the toss on a wet wicket and were sent in. With the ball moving we reached a sound 190, which I was confident of defending.

“The next 30 overs proved our undoing as we dropped four catches, gave away runs and dropped our fielding standards. They won by four wickets in the final over, which show we fought to the death,” said Bowes.

Third place play-off against the Kiwis was one sided, Bowes’s lads winning by eight wickets after bowling the Black Caps out for 90. This time, Bowes contributed 19.

“What will be will be and it’s back to the coming season with the Dolphins. I pride myself on being the fittest U19 player in the country and have been training with the senior Dolphins team. I’ve played for the Dolphins B side, the KZN provincial team, making 127, my debut first class ton in my second knock, against Gauteng, at Kingsmead. My goal this season is to break into the senior side and stake my claim.”

An attacking opener who adapts to all formats of the game, Bowes is a talent worth watching, guiding and maturing. He is steadfast in his respect for the game, applying solid standards and principles to achieve what he wants. These are the right ingredients to succeed in life and, in time to come, scoreboards around the world could tell the story of the five-year-old who lived his dream.

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