Tuesday, July 16, 2024

SA20 League: Meet the rookie – Tiaan van Vuuren

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Photo Credit: SA20 League

Tiaan van Vuuren stepped into Pretoria Capitals’ Betway SA20 rookie berth for 2024

Grey High School in Gqeberha is not only renowned for producing a double World Cup-winning Springbok captain in Siya Kolisi.

The prestigious institution in College Drive, Mill Park has delivered its fair share of national cricketers over the years. Its most illustrious alumni is the legendary Graeme Pollock, who played 23 Test matches for South Africa from 1963 to 1970, and averaged 60.97 during that period.

For many years Pollock boasted the second highest Test average for anyone having played more than 20 Tests behind the masterful Sir Don Bradman (99.94) before Australian Adam Voges surpassed it with 61.87 in 2017.

The latest Proteas international to emerge from the Grey High School corridors is, of course, Sunrisers Eastern Cape star Tristan Stubbs.

Stubbs formed part of an all-conquering Grey High First XI in 2018 that lost only four out of 36 matches.  It was not only Stubbs’ runs that played a role in this winning streak though, but also the contribution of another former SA U19 prodigy Tiaan van Vuuren.

The flame-haired all-rounder is a bustling left-arm seamer and hard-hitting lower-order batter, who has taken a more adventurous route to the professional ranks, having started at the EP Warriors before moving to the Knights in Bloemfontein.

However, the now 22-year-old, was offered a major breakthrough last year when the Pretoria Capitals signed him up as their Rookie for Betway SA20 Season 2.

“It was a big surprise. Got a call from out of the blue to join the Capitals camp in Pretoria. It’s the most amount of nerves I’ve felt in a long while,” Van Vuuren said.

“I watched Season 1 back home in Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha). The crowds, the entertainment, the big sixes, it’s quite a big thing, and now to be a part of it, I was very excited.”

Van Vuuren may not have been handed the opportunity to showcase his skills on the big stage of the premier domestic T20 competition in South Africa last season, but he certainly made the most of his time in the Capitals camp.

“Every cricketer wants to make a statement. To try and push yourself and get to their level,” Van Vuuren said.

“The mentality you need to take into T20 cricket is that it’s changing all the time. And that’s why you need to be adaptable.

“I had a good few chats with Rilee Rossouw. I felt he guided me quite well.

“Colin Ingram, too, being the person that he is. And Shane (Dadswell), having been there last season, he knew what I was experiencing as well.”

With the benefit of having now experienced a Betway SA20 season, Van Vuuren has the potential to add his name to the long list of Grey High School luminaries.

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