Although some might consider him a bit of a late bloomer, the call to join the Cape Cobras camp could not have have come at a better time, says Primrose left-arm spinner, David Schierhout, 33.
Success, he says, is never an overnight affair but the result of consistent hard work.
Followers of the game know that he has the makings of a fine cricketer and that his call up is long overdue.
“I always knew that I will get my chance. I never wanted to be anything other than a cricketer,” he said, after being awarded his first senior provincial contract.
“I think I have what it takes to box with the big boys.”
Schierhout has played five first class matches since making his Western Province debut, against KZN in Durbanville in December.
His most recent match was against the Titans, at Newlands, earlier this month. In that game he took two wickets for 44 runs, in two innings, that of big-hitter TB de Bruyn for 127 and Protea batsman Junior Dala, for only 18 runs.
As a low order batsman, he didn’t have much to do at the crease. In his two innings, he scored 2 not out and 4 runs respectively.
Although the Cobras lost their first match following the seven-month lockdown, Schierhout impressed with the ball in hand, managing to take a few key wickets. Schierhout caught the WP selectors’ eyes as his consistent
and effective bowling for Primrose caused serious problems for their opponents’ batsmen, in the Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) First Division A, one-day league campaign, late last year.
Having proved himself to be a handful with ball in hand, Schierhout was named WP club cricket player of the week, following his side’s string of victories, including their nine-wicket victory against Gugulethu in a one-day league match, last season. Accurate bowling by Schierhout and co laid the foundation for Primrose’s win against Gugulethu to secure their third win in as many matches, having beaten United and Goodwood.
In his five matches so far for WP, he has taken a total of 13 wickets for 244 runs. And, with the bat in hand, has scored 8 runs, with a strike rate of 10.25.
He’s been playing cricket for nearly half his life, starting out with Mitchell’s Plain Cricket Club, before joining Primrose a few seasons ago. As a youngster, he came up through the ranks and was part of the WP Academy side.
Primrose head coach Achmat Brown could barely contain his delight, saying: Just looking at all of the good wishes on social media, you can see how many people are happy for him.”
“He’s not just a good cricketer, but a good human being. He’s a hard worker, always gives his all and is always willing to go the extra mile. He truly deserves it.” he said.
“It may have come a few seasons late, but we’re truly happy for him,” Brown said.
Primrose Cricket Club executive member for youth, Foazia Sylvester, has seen “Woody” as he’s affectionately called by friends, grow from a skinny 11-year-old wicketkeeper to becoming a leading wicket-taker.
Sylvester, who is also the president of the WP Scorers Association, first worked with him while at Mitchell’s Plain Cricket Club, and fondly remembers the many trips to many trials she drove him to.
“Transport was always an issue, but I didn’t want him to miss out on any opportunity,” she said.
Although he takes his cricketing career very serious, Sylvester was quick to point out that he has a wicked sense of humour and even moonlights as an occasional stand-up comedian.
“One thing’s for sure,” she said, “there’s never a dull moment with Woody around.
“No matter what he does, you just can’t stay upset with him,” she said.