Theunis de Bruyn. Photo: Gallo Images.
Highly-rated batsman Theunis de Bruyn may have just lost his Proteas contract but the 27-year-old has enough perspective to know there are far more important issues at hand at the moment and he is confident a rotten 2019/20 summer for him personally is just a hiccough in a career that has promised so much.
While the Covid-19 pandemic brought the cricket season to a shocking, sudden halt, De Bruyn feels as if he didn’t really have a cricket season at all.
From the time he scored 41 for SA A against India A in Mysore last September, he has batted just 20 times this summer.
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His problems started in the Mzansi Super League in November when he was hospitalised with a mystery virus.
Then in the Momentum One-Day Cup he had just scored a brilliant 120 against the Lions at Centurion when he tore a hamstring in the field.
In his first net practice back, he was coming to the end of his session when he was too early on a pull against Junior Dala and suffered a concussion.
His last innings for the Proteas was back in October in the third Test against India in Ranchi, when, ironically, De Bruyn was the top-scorer as he made 30 out of a dismal total of 133 all out.
And now he has lost his national contract.
So the 2019/20 season has exacted a heavy fee on his good humour.
“It was just one of those seasons and I have no answers to the questions why? But we need to put the situation in perspective with what is currently going on: we can’t even play cricket now, businesses are closing and it’s a crazy time. We can only hope this pandemic unites the nation and then we can stand up and rebuild. So we need to take all that on board for perspective.
“But this last season was completely not what I expected, not what I put in all the hard work towards. The current situation is a bit like my season, all questions and no answers. I’ve hardly played this season, it feels like the season never really started for me. I feel a bit forgotten but I just have to take it on the chin because I failed in international cricket. But at the end of the day the passion is still there and I will take on the new season,” De Bruyn told The Citizen.
The Titans star admitted it has been a tough time to get through, but he has already been putting in hard work to ensure he comes back next season as an ever better player.
“I’ve figured a few things out as to how I can improve as a cricketer, to become a more complete package physically, mentally and technically. This season has been so tough, but then I had setbacks when I was young, not making a provincial team, and it makes you want to give up and then the next season you have the time of your life.
“I believe I still have a role to play in South African cricket, I still have eight-to-ten years left in my career so there’s still a lot of time. I’m just going to take all the lessons I can from this season. In the few innings I had, I actually felt good and what I have been working on was coming through. It’s the first time I’ve failed in my career but now I can help the Titans rebuild and get better, which is what I love. Plus I have the chance to watch all the cricket highlights on TV that I haven’t had the chance to see before,” De Bruyn said.
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