Gerald Coetzee has always desire to meet Dale Steyn but he never expected it to happen with the two at either end of the cricket pitch.
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Gerald Coetzee’s Mzansi Super League debut, with his team in trouble at 103 for 6 in the 14th over chasing 184, he found himself facing none other than his hero.
It was, um… scary. Ja, scary, Coetzee told, and suffered an injury that could prove decisive in what is shaping up to be a breakthrough.
He had bowled more overs than anyone else in the franchise four-day cup and was third on the wicket-takers list. He believed he had no chance of getting when he was not considered in the draft.
I had no expectations because I knew I had not been picked up, Coetzee told, I was playing a four-day game against the Lions in Kimberley, their batting coach Justin and Rassie asked me if they could speak to me.
“He said me I was going to play against the Blitz. I couldn’t believe it. It was one of the most thrilling things to have happened in my cricket career.”
The fifth T20 match Coetzee had played in, he announced himself at first change with quick, aggressive bowling. He bounced out the opposition openers, one of whom happened to be Quinton de Kock, he has faced Steyn.
After being beaten by that first, scary delivery that shaped away outside off, Coetzee top-edged a pull and managed a single. His four runs in the match came in vain and the Jozi Stars were beaten
Coetzee is already being spoken about by those in the know, his performance in a televised match at a time when South Africa is looking for talent.
The people are talking about the kid who became the first in four decades from his school, St Andrews in Bloemfontein, to earn national colors.
Coetzee represented the South African Under-19 side. He played five matches against West Indies, then three against England in a triangular series also involving Namibia.
In the last against New Zealand caught the eye but his progress was somewhat stymied when he suffered an ankle injury that required surgery.
He promised that he and everyone else involved have been working on their skills ahead of next year’s U-19 World Cup, which will be played at home.
There was a problem with my arm that it was behind my head when I was releasing the ball, he said. I thought it is better to fix that now than in a few years’ time when it becomes a problem.
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