Photo Credit: SA20 League
There are not many 20-year-olds that can count themselves fortunate enough to be a champion in a major T20 franchise tournament, but then again Dewald Brevis is no ordinary young man.
MI Cape Town starlet Brevis helped MI New York lift the inaugural Major League Cricket championship title on Sunday evening in Dallas which has only strengthened his love for the Mumbai Indian franchise.
Brevis, 20, has literally grown up within the MI franchise’s structures since being signed up for the Indian Premier League prior to him even playing a senior professional match.
The franchise invested in the precocious talent on the back of his record-breaking run-spree for the Junior Proteas in the ICC Under-19 World Cup in the Caribbean at the beginning of last year.
They have since also utilised his unique skill set in the Betway SA20 for MI Cape Town and also now for MI New York in MLC.
Brevis showed flashes of his brilliance for MI Cape Town, particularly in the tournament opening game against Paarl Royals at Newlands when he blasted a sublime undefeated 70, but he has really begun repaying the faith shown in him with a couple of sparkling innings for MI New York in the MLC recently.
He struck form at a critical stage of the tournament with scores of 57, 41* (Qualifier 2) and 20 (Final) in MI New York’s charge to the inaugural MLC title.
“I just told myself to be calm, true to my instincts and be myself. It’s a really nice feeling when you contribute to the team,” Brevis said.
“It’s also very important to have the backing of the franchise and to be able to represent them in a few leagues. It’s really great. I wouldn’t want to be in another shirt.”
A major benefit to Brevis, and also South African cricket overall, is the intellectual capacity within the MI franchise coaching staff that the youngster has available to him at this early juncture of his career.
Brevis is certainly taking the opportunity to tap into some of cricket’s finest brains, as he credited Sri Lankan legend Mahela Jayawardene for helping him with a slight tweak to his technique that helped reap these positive results.
“I had a chat with Mahela (Jayawardene). He told me to be still at the point of release and just have a subtle movement at my trigger,” Brevis said.
“Focused on playing straight. When that came off I had a little smile on my face.”
Brevis also said that he is slowly starting to emerge from the moniker “Baby AB” that was placed at him from a young age in reference to his boyhood idol and Proteas legend AB de Villiers.
“He (AB de Velliers) has always been my role model growing up. To be able to listen to how he went about things is really helpful,” he said.
“I am still my own person. I need to develop myself in my own path. He too doesn’t want to change anything about me, he simply wants to steer me in the right direction.”