A glory well deserved

2014-02-11 00:00

CROSBY, Stills and Nash have a song that goes “It’s been a long time coming … ” and that’s the song that should have greeted the victorious Dolphins when they returned to Durban yesterday afternoon with the Ram Slam T20 trophy in their grasp.

It was less than 24 hours since the boys had lifted the trophy, their first in eight seasons, after beating the Cobras at Newlands by two runs, yet the smiles were just as broad and the jubilation of a job well done and a goal achieved was evident.

There was no razzmatazz on their arrival. In fact, it was very low-key with some wives and children, family and officials from KwaZulu-Natal Cricket there to give a round of applause as the team came into the arrivals hall. A few other folk joined in, taking photographs and asking for autographs, but every one of the players deservedly felt proud, walking tall and with a spring in his step.

Captain Morné van Wyk’s wife Carnien gave an indication of what the trophy meant, saying, “It’s an honour to be involved with this team and I am at a loss for words when it comes to what they have accomplished. It’s great reward for all the work they have put in, their discipline and their belief they could win.

“This makes you look at life and realise the riches that come your way. It’s not just about one game all the time. There is a bigger picture. When we moved to Durban, I told Morné he would have to give his all to turn the team around and here we stand welcoming them home as champions.”

Daryn Smit, last season’s captain and one of the team’s senior campaigners, had come full circle as a cricketer. As a young boy, he dreamed of playing for Natal (as it was then) and now he has played, captained and won a trophy. “It’s been a whirlwind 24 hours and for once, the stars have aligned for us. It’s Dolphins time,” he said.

KZN Cricket Union CEO Jesse Chellan was at the game and said it was tense to put it mildly. “We were saying it could not be a tie and when Justin Kemp hit that last ball to the boundary, we were all shouting dip, dip. Great emotion and times for the team,” he said.

Van Wyk had achieved his goal. An astute signing from the Knights, he had said his mission was to mould the team into believing they could win. “We had a young team and once that belief was there and they realised they could compete and win, there was no looking back. We have come full circle and it’s onwards and upwards from here.”

Robbie Frylinck, who bowled the last over, said, “It was nerve-wracking, but I knew the hit wasn’t a six. It’s great to win.”

There were no sunglasses being worn or any red eyes among the players, yet they savoured victory. Smit said the emotion of it all had caught up with him and he was in bed quite early, while David Miller said the change room celebrations were something to remember.

Mthokozisi Shezi said it was all about doing it for the team, while coach Lance Klusener quietly slipped away, letting the players take centre stage and bask in their glory.

And rightly so. It’s about time we realised we also have a cricket team that represents our province and let’s celebrate with them. Like the Boston song goes, “Don’t look back, a new day is breaking …”

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