Saturday, April 4, 2015

My Retirement

As you might be aware, I have decided to retire from all forms of cricket. In order for me to close this chapter I feel that I have to write this in order to find closure...

In 1990 I played my first provincial cricket game... I played against the Griqualand West u/11 team for Free State u/11 in Kimberley. I think they made us play the match in Kimberley on purpose to see who could stand the extreme heat and still continue to play cricket afterwards!! And so my cricket journey started...

It has to be said that it has been an unbelievable journey – one full of heartache and joy, a journey full of hardship and gratitude, a journey full of tears and laughter... a journey made possible by my Maker and the people he has put in my story. It has been a journey which I will forever remember, cherish and keep!!

To every single administrator that has crossed my path in the past 25 years of school, regional, provincial, professional and national cricket, I thank you for the countless hours you have put in behind the scenes in order for us as players to compete in the sport that some of us had the opportunity to call a career. I have great appreciation for you all!!
To every coach I have had the honour to work with, I had the opportunity to take something from every single one of you which has made me a better cricket player. Your input in my career has not only been of utmost importance, but also much appreciated. However, to all the conditioning coaches – I might miss you as a person, but I will definitely not miss your input!!! (only joking...)

To the medical staff that was involved in my career – if it wasn’t for you, I most probably would have written this a long time ago. You have kept me together – in fact, I think it might only have been your strapping, medication, treatments and constant care that kept me playing at certain stages of my career.

To my sponsors, I would like to thank you for your support throughout my whole career. You do make life a lot easier especially when one tends to go through bowling boots and bats quicker than some of my coaches in the latter part of my career lost hair!!

To all the different unions and franchises and especially to the CEO’s, words cannot express the gratitude that I have for you all.

In 2007, after leaving Bloemfontein, Free State University, Free State Cricket and the Eagles (now called the Chevrolet Knights), North West Cricket gave me a second chance and a second home. I have grew to love the place as if it was my own . Something I thought would never happen after living in Bloemfontein for a decade.

In the time that I have been involved as a player, I have had the privilege to see all the unions and franchises go from strength to strength. I have seen character being built through tough times and I have seen unlikely partnerships become the biggest of friendships. I have seen changes (good and bad) in the facilities and unions. But, throughout the changes I was able to come to one conclusion - I have the utmost confidence in the current leadership in all aspects to take these respective unions and ultimately the game of cricket, to the greatest of heights. My wish for you is one of prosperity, one of great success and one of strength through unity!!!

To my fellow teammates and opposition players... I have had a professional career of 15 years. In this time I have had the opportunity to play alongside and against the best in the country and even in rare occasions the best the world has to offer. I have learned something from each and everyone of you. You have had an influence in both my professional, as well as my business career. From some, I have had positive input, from others not-so-positive... To all of you – thank you, because from some I have learned how to do certain things, from others how not to do things. The fact of the matter is, I have learned something from each and every one of you.

I have had the opportunity to lead players, but also the opportunity to see leaders thrive. I have seen boys become men. I have seen every single player use their personality and character to positively add to an environment where we could all thrive. I have seen individuals grasp opportunities with both hands and propel their careers to oxygen-deprived heights. I have seen a group of men care for each other in ways only found between true, honest friends.

To each and every one of you, I only wish you well. May your careers on and off the cricket field be successful and may your aspirations become reality. I will forever be thankful for what input you have had in my life. You will always have an extra follower and supporter now and I look forward to cheering you on – either from my couch, or next to the field!!

To my parents... your dedication, your parenthood, your support and love is the foundation on which my character was built. The life-lessons you taught me and the freedom through your leadership guided me to not only learn from my own mistakes, but gave me the opportunity to learn how to make educated decisions. All of this has made me what I am today.
As for my sporting career, the sacrifices you made with regards to time, energy and finances will never be forgotten. No words will ever be able to express my gratitude – I only wish what I have achieved as a cricket player and man will be testimony of my gratitude.

To my brother – I know we weren’t the best of friends as boys due to our age difference. But, us we both aged I now regard you as an honest, dynamic, God-fearing man. Someone who I can always talk to without fearing judgement. Someone who has taught me many a time how situations should be handled. Your input in my life is irreplaceable!!

To my wife, ever since I fell in love with you, you have been the most important person in my life. As I look back on my cricket career, I can say that you becoming my wife was the best thing that could have happened to me in my career. I met you through cricket, next to a cricket field. And ever since then, not only were you next to the field in my career, but also alongside me – supporting me no matter what situation was thrown at us. Everyone knows me as someone who wears his heart on his sleeve, but only you know my deepest secrets and emotions.

I want to thank you for your support, guidance and love. I cannot wait for us to start writing the next chapter in our combined book of life...

Now the big question: what now?

I have been fortunate enough to have established a young company of my own – I will thus be concentrating on my career as a physiotherapist. I will always have a special interest in sport, especially cricket. But, my true passion as a therapist has always been to help people get better, to help them heal and to see the joy when they have regained full functionality after an injury.

Ever since I started my career as a physiotherapist, it has fascinated me how the physical progress has been able to automatically enhance the mental and emotional state of the person and vice versa!! I look forward to being involved in as many of these success stories as possible until the day my hands cannot do the work anymore...