Photo Credit: SA20 League
The Betway SA20 has been a game-changer for so many since inception, but it has arguably not had a bigger impact on anyone’s future than Donovan Ferreira.
Only a couple of years ago Ferreira had given up cricket altogether to take up a full-time job with a bat manufacturer. Now he is in the second year of a life-changing R5.5 million contract with the Joburg Super Kings in the Betway SA20 and on the verge of making his Proteas Men’s T20I debut in Kingsmead this week.
The 25-year-old hard-hitting batter has since also received a call-up to the Indian Premier League, Zim Afro T10 and Caribbean Premier League. It’s been quite a rollercoaster of a journey for Ferreira, but he believes that has only made him want to work harder to achieve even bigger goals.
“So far everything in my career has happened out of the blue, I wasn’t expecting any of this. I wasn’t expecting this call-up, I didn’t expect SA20, IPL and the Titans call-up,” said Ferreira.
“I enjoyed working, but I don’t want to go back there … and I know how it is to be there.”
“That’s also a bit of motivation. When you’re not feeling great, you just remember those times where you had to sit at the office from nine to five – and if your boss is upset with you, you just had to take it.”
“My mindset since is that each opportunity I get and each game I play could be the last. So I cherish each moment, in each changeroom I am in, and try to make as many memories as I possibly can. I enjoyed working, but I don’t want to go back there.”
Ferreira returns this week to a happy hunting ground, Kingsmead. It is here where he launched his Joburg Super Kings career in style. The Durban’s Super Giants bowlers had delivered an exceptional start to reduce JSK to 27/4 when Ferreira joined his captain – and former employer – Faf du Plessis at the crease. The pair added 72 runs in just eight overs to begin the repair job before Ferreira went into overdrive during the closing overs to finish on a rollicking 82 not out off just 40 balls (8×4, 5×6).
He will hope to rekindle those memories should he make his T20 International debut this week against Australia.
“You always dream of playing for your country, and then everything starts running through your head: should you be crying, should you be smiling, jumping for joy, what should you do? You don’t really know,” he said.
“There were a lot of mixed emotions. For me, there was excitement (in that) all your hard work paid off. It’s just that relief that you’ll hopefully play for your country. It’s just indescribable.”
“I believe that everything happens when it’s supposed to happen. Once you start trying to control things, you just set yourself up for disappointment. I believe it came at a perfect time. I mean, what is a perfect time in actual fact? I’m happy that it came now. I feel my game is at a good place, and I’m at a good space with my cricket.”
“It’s always such an exciting series, they will come with a fire attack, you come with a fire team, it’s always good cricket. There’s a lot of rivalry and history. It’s a perfect opportunity to show what we can do as a team and me as an individual. Hopefully, I get an opportunity and I take that with both hands.”