A point to prove

2015-12-17 06:00
The success of the KZN Inland cricket team is all about teamwork, captain SJ Erwee says. PHOTO: gallo images

The success of the KZN Inland cricket team is all about teamwork, captain SJ Erwee says. PHOTO: gallo images

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

THE results speak for themselves: KZN Inland have so far proven themself to be one of the leading provincial cricket sides in South Africa across all formats of the game.

They are top of the CSA T20 Challenge, lead their pool in the Sunfoil Cup 3-Day Competition, are mid-table in the CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge, and finished as runners-up in the Africa T20 Cup.

Under first-year head coach Shane Burger, the Inland team have logged seven T20 wins and only one loss, two victories and three draws in the three-day competition, and one win and one defeat in the 50-over game. Much of their success has come from their attitude, focus and teamwork, Burger told The Witness recently at the team’s mid-season camp.

A former captain of the team, Burger said: “I say this with the utmost respect to all of my players, a lot of our guys are probably rejects from other franchises, almost throwaways, and they have had a second crack at their careers.

“It’s amazing to see how, with the right attitude and mindset what you can deliver. And the guys have certainly shown they have the quality to play at a higher level. It’s amazing, if you get the team spirit right, and things start clicking, what guys can really achieve.

“Always beware the cricketer with a point to prove. I think that is when a cricketer is at his most dangerous, so we use that to our advantage.”

Captain SJ Erwee told The Witness yesterday: “Winning is fun and it becomes a habit. It’s contagious. You want to keep winning because it’s fun, and as soon as you have fun you know you want to have more fun.”

Burger said calling a smaller city like Pietermaritzburg home was an advantage for his charges as it allowed them to focus on their game and fitness without the distractions of the bigger cities. “We definitely use it as a positive.”

Although KZN Inland have a small squad, the players offer up a wide variety of options, enabling Burger to select according to the conditions his team are playing in, and, pleasingly for him, fringe players have more often than not delivered when they’ve been given a run.

“In every match, we have certain individuals who have stuck their hands up. Yes, players like Kyle Nipper and Graham Hume have been [consistently] good, but there have been various other guys who have stuck their hands up and contributed towards the team’s success. It’s not just two or three guys, it’s a team performance more often than not,” he explained.

As an example, skipper SJ Erwee spoke about 21-year-old Kyle Simmonds: “A guy like Kyle is a quality player. He is still young and he got one game at KZN Coastals, and they didn’t really back him. He has come to us and he has actually won us games. He’s been given an opportunity to express himself.

“The big thing I have noticed in Maritzburg over the last couple of seasons is that we have become a real team, where we care about each other and each other’s successes, and we want each person to do well. In other teams, guys are playing for the same spot and there are a lot of individuals in those teams. There aren’t many guys who are willing to fight for each other, whereas here at Inland guys are fighting for each other.

“When guys are given an opportunity, they have full confidence in their ability and in their skills. That causes them to succeed,” Erwee said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham

Here are just ten of our favourite plus-sized models:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.