College old boy named Irish emerging player of the year

2013-10-24 00:00

MARITZBURG College old boy John Anderson, who plays for the Ireland national cricket team, was one of the players honoured at the Irish cricket awards last week.

The 31-year-old top order batsman won the Aengus Fanning International Emerging Player of the Year and he attributed it to the 127 he scored against the Netherlands earlier this year, and a knock of 50 against the Bravehearts of Scotland.

“I was pretty happy to win it,” the chartered accountant Anderson told The Witness from Dublin during his lunch break yesterday.

“It’s voted by the players, so it means a lot because it says that the guys you play with think you’ve done well,” said the former Natal Schools Khaya Majola Cricket Week player.

Anderson said that due to his age, receiving the award, which is given to players who have played fewer than eight games, was unusual.

“It’s different. It usually goes to younger players and not an old guy like me,” he said with a chuckle.

After matriculating from College and playing for Natal Schools at the Khaya Majola Cricket Week in 2000, Anderson played alongside legendary Hashim Amla — who was the captain for Natal Under-19.

“At College I played under Mike Bechet. He was instrumental in how I approached my cricket. He instilled a lot of values in me, and I’m just glad that after all of these years, I’m still getting recognised,” he said.

His goal was now to make the side that will represent Ireland at the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. The Irish sealed qualification for cricket’s showpiece in July this year.

Bechet, who has produced cricketing gems such as Jonty Rhodes, Kevin Pietersen and David Miller, said he was very “chuffed” with his former player’s achievements. “He played for me for two years and he was a very decent cricketer,” Bechet told The Witness.

“His brother married Chanelle Scheepers, so he comes from a very sporting family,” he said.

Bechet went on to say it would be nice to see Anderson playing at the 2015 World Cup, and added that he followed the progress of all of his former players.

Anderson’s Pietermaritzburg-based parents Richard and Judy said they were “popping with pride” after he won the award.

“When we heard he was one of three nominees, we told him we were going over to support him, and he told us not to because he didn’t think he’d win,” said Judy Anderson. “We’re so proud that he won,” she said.

Anderson would have left the award gala a very happy man after Isobel Joyce, his girlfriend of six years, won the International Women’s Player of the Year and her brother, former England batsman Ed Joyce, walked away with the International Men’s Player of the Year award.


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