South African seam bowler, Beuran Hendricks, was one of the players Cricket South Africa awarded a national contract for next season, earlier this year. Hendricks says he now feels a part of the Proteas family and just like some of his teammates, he has been doing his bit in his community during the coronavirus pandemic.
The left-arm seamer played his first and only Test for South Africa against England at the Wanderers, in January this year. The English won that match by 191 runs, but Hendricks still put in a gutsy performance.
He was punished in the first innings – the Proteas most expensive bowler at just under five runs an overtaking just one wicket and conceding more than 100 runs in 23 overs. But he more than made up for that in the second innings – finishing with figures of five for 64, a maiden five-wicket haul, joining the likes of former Proteas seamers such as Vernon Philander and Lance Klusener, as well as the Proteas current bowling coach Charl Langerveldt, to have taken five scalps for South Africa on debut.
Hendricks says, “At that level, you are not allowed to drop your intensity at any moment in the game. You are up against your opposition for five days, without them giving you any opportunity in the first innings. I was punished. I was on the back foot and during the second innings I kicked it up a notch. I kicked up my intensity and was able to bring it back a little bit … so, a lot of learning from that game.”
Hendricks has joined some of his teammates and athletes across the globe who are personally doing their part, to help people in their communities, deal with the impact of the lockdown to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.
“I feel that there is a bucket full of talent everywhere around the country, and it’s just about the franchise system tapping into that talent and make sure that these guys are ready for international selection. I feel the Proteas selectors will be busy in the next two or three years once all this talent is developed and at a level that is ready, for so many options for international selection. We are not far off.”
Hendricks, who has been a fixture for the Cobras in domestic cricket, was also awarded a national contract by Cricket South Africa in January and he is positive about the pipeline of talent in the country.
“There is a lot of food being taken off the table of families and that was just heart-breaking for me … people not being able to go out there and earn their money, to be able to feed their families. So, I took it upon myself to go out there into the community and distribute food parcels and me and some of my friends are trying our best to make sure that some of these families have a plate of food on the table and not go out and do crimes to feed their families. Hopefully, this can create some awareness in the community and some positivity around this pandemic.”
Hendricks, just like the world’s cricket fraternity, looks forward to a time when the game can resume safely for players and fans and is confident that when it is possible, they will be ready.