Talented Bradley in College 1st team at 14

2014-04-15 00:00

AT just 14 years old, Maritzburg College cricket star Bradley Hope has been making waves that have got the coaches at the school excited about his future.

Bradley has cemented his place in the Maritzburg College first team, and has had some stand-out performances.

The Grade 9 pupil is now looking to make the KwaZulu-Natal Inland U17 side to cap off an unbelievable year.

“I had my first cricket lesson when I was six. My uncle Graham Boucher, a cricket coach, told my parents he wanted to coach me. That’s when I started, when I was in Grade 0 at DPHS,” Bradley, who turns 15 in July, told The Witness.

“When I was nine, I was playing against 13-year-olds. That’s when I realised I had some talent for the game,” he said.

In his Grade 7 year at DPHS (2012), he scored over 1 200 runs in a single year, an achievement he is justifiably proud of.

At College, he hails his 6/29 against Michaelhouse in their last game of the school season that just ended as his best moment on the cricket field.

Despite being so young, Bradley took to playing cricket at that level like a duck to water and didn’t allow it to stress him out.

“I love playing cricket, and I try and do my best every time I go out onto the field. I enjoy the pressure that comes with being in the first team, and I’m proud to represent College,” he said. Other players who have represented College in the past include Jonty Rhodes, David Miller and former England skipper Kevin Pietersen, something that motivated the youngster.

Speaking of his team-mates, and how they’ve welcomed him into the team, he said, “They’ve been very accepting and have given me a lot of advice. They have made me feel welcome in the change room.

“They have been very encouraging, especially when we play against teams that know I’m 14 and try to get into my head,” he said.

Bradley’s ultimate dream is to play for the Proteas, and the wickedly talented youngster idolises the recently retired legendary Jacques Kallis, and Dale Steyn.

“I really enjoy Jacques Kallis’s humbleness when he plays, and how calm he remains throughout the game,” Bradley said.

To achieve his dreams, the teenager said he understood that there was a lot of hard work that lay ahead.

“I made KZN Coastals U13 in 2011 and 2012, and last year I made the KZN Inland U15 side. The provincial tournaments have been good experiences because they made me realise how much talent there is in the country, which makes me train even harder.”

If Bradley ever wanted any advice, he doesn’t have to look further than new Dolphins star, 19-year-old Daryn Dupavillon, who also happens to be his cousin.

NAME: Bradley Hope

SCHOOL: Maritzburg College

SPORT: Cricket

AGE: 14

GRADE: 9

HEIGHT: 1,88m

ACHIEVEMENTS: KZN Coastals U13 (2011, 2012), KZN Inland U15 (2013), Maritzburg College First Team cricket at 14.

AMBITION: To play for South Africa

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