Photo Credit: SWD Cricket
Six Gun Grill South Western Districts new bowling hero, Herschell America, turned plenty of heads as he rose to the summit of the wicket takers chart after the completion of Pool A of the Cricket South Africa T20 knock-out competition which kicked-off in Kimberley the past weekend. America was one of the SWD heroes who as the underdogs from the Southern Cape topped Pool A and will now advance to the knock-out stages of the competition.
The 27-year old America, who like other bowlers who made their mark as professional cricket players, like Gurshwin Rabie, Marcello Piedt, Glenton Stuurman, Francois Plaatjies and Otneill Baartman also hails from Bridgton in Oudtshoorn. America, who was dubbed Captain America, by former Protea bowling icon Makhaya Ntini whilst doing television commentary in Kimberley over the weekend had a different rose as a professional cricket player.
He never represented SWD at schools’ level or made the cut for the SWD Elite Academy intake but climbed the ladder via the club system for his club, Union Stars. In 2017, he started to make an impact on the club scene thanks to guidance and encouragement from his mentor and teammate, Marcello Piedt. Soon thereafter the than SWD coach, Baakier Abrahams, invited him to the SWD practices as a net bowler. The rest is history and in the 2017/18 season he made his debut for SWD where he played 13 First Class and 20 List A matches.
With seven wickets he is the most successful bowler in the T20 competition, but the past weekend was his first stint at the T20 format of the game. Like many successful sportsmen there was also turning points in his career and significantly he mentioned a hard discussion by Baakier Abrahams in April 2020 as the turning point of his career.
That discussion changed my mind about my approach to cricket and brought me back on track after I was at a stage where I took everything for granted, he admitted. Besides fellow SWD player, Marcello Piedt who he is now keeping out of the starting eleven, he admired the role of his grandmother Henrika Daniels in his cricket career.