A Durban man for his entire life, hard-hitting all-rounder Calvin Savage never thought he'd one day be calling Newlands Cricket Ground his home.
As he prepares to join up with his Cape Cobras team-mates under the watchful eye of Table Mountain, he has renewed motivation to take the next forward step in his career.
Speaking from Durban as he readies himself for the move, the 27-year-old expressed his excitement for the challenge that lies ahead.
"I'm at a point in my career where I'm very motivated to kick on to big honours and very excited for a new chapter in my life. I would never have thought that one day I would be able to call the Cape Cobras, Western Province and Newlands my home - it's an opportunity I cannot wait to start," he said in a Cobras press release.
Savage has matured in recent years, both in his personal and professional life and having recently become a father, coupled with his willingness to take on leadership roles within teams he has represented, he is able to offer coach Ashwell Prince more than just his ability with bat and ball.
"Becoming a dad and having my own little family has changed my life completely. My pressures in life are completely different to what they were when I was 22 or 23," he said.
"Nowadays I find it a lot easier to leave my work at work and not bring home the pressures and frustrations which come with being a professional sportsman. But, I do now have a responsibility to my family to be the best I can be for them so that they can live the life they deserve. All in all, I would say it has definitely changed me for the best. It has made me a better person and I can feel it's starting to show in my cricket.
"Leadership is something I've always wanted to be a part of in my career. Taking on that kind of responsibility helps my own game as I find it keeps me more engaged. As I'm sure all of us people who play sport in a team environment want to win and helping younger players and trying to create the right team environment and atmosphere is my way of trying to get us closer to that goal of silverware."
Prince has stated clearly that the likes of Savage, fellow all-rounder Corbin Bosch and spinner Imraan Manack bring certain skills which will undoubtedly improve the team in the limited overs format, and Savage is looking forward to bringing his attacking style of play to complement Prince’s attacking mindset he likes to see from any side he coaches in any format of the game.
"I've always been a naturally attacking batsman and as I've improved my game, I've found a way to go about my innings in the best way to get my team into a winning position," he said.
"Batting in the position I do often requires someone who can move the game forward a bit quicker, be it in white or red-ball cricket for that matter. In red-ball cricket I often have to set us up with a total to go out and bowl a team out and win and the more time we have to bowl, the better chance we have, or I will find myself in a position where I have to play a calculated innings in chasing down a target. Either way an attacking game plan will help the team. I think attacking cricket is important in South African cricket in general, just with the direction the game is moving. We have to keep up or be left behind," he said.
Whilst Savage has added motivation to join up with his Cobras team-mates when lockdown regulations allow for it, he has been keeping himself mentally and physically fit, whilst also running his academy and providing support for his family.
"My girlfriend has to go into work every day and I am running my own cricket coaching academy online now and then also playing dad is not always the easiest. During our time off I have been doing a bit of running and some lounge gym sessions, but now that our pre-season has started, I am doing some form of fitness 5 days a week to get me ready for the season and I will look into skills-work towards the end of June and beginning of July," he concluded.
- Cape Cobras