By Alvin Reeves
There is a new cricketer on the franchise block and he is not afraid to go toe-to-toe with fast bowlers.
Warriors batsman Sinethemba Qeshile is already punching above his weight. The striking South Africa U19 batsman celebrated his 19th birthday during the 4-Day match against the Highveld Lions last week.
The former Hudson Park schoolboy packs a mean punch and whether it is a sumptuous straight drive or a vicious square cut or pull, the result is more often impressive than not.
Qeshile has played only two franchise games for the Eastern Cape side. He has batted three times and averages 179 following three half centuries. He was unbeaten in two of those knocks, having once run out of partners and the other after the team declared.
Those in the cricketing know are talking about him and other franchises have tried unsuccessfully to poach him. It is clear when you see him live that there is something special about the young man.
Former Proteas coach Russell Domingo believes Qeshile is one of the brightest lights in South African batting stocks. How he never made the U19 World Cup squad is astonishing as his talent is there for all to see. For now though, he is loving life in Warriors colours and looking to build on his early success.
“Yes, I’m actually enjoying the environment and the cricket is also going very well at the moment,” Qeshile said, his boyish smile shining through. “I’m feeling good at the moment. I think that first 100 is around the corner. “The key for me is not to change anything and just carry on with what I’m doing and runs will come.” Asked where he thought his best scoring zones were, he said: “At times I go square of the wicket and I also try to go straight. But most of the time I go square.”
The Titans will get to witness Qeshile’s skills first-hand this weekend when the Warriors travel to Centurion for their 4-Day Franchise Series match starting on Friday.
“It will be a different team this weekend and different conditions so I will have to adapt at first,” he said. Of course, there will be times when he does not score and where his mental strength will be tested.
But those who saw him come under fire from the Lions quicks with both the ball and mouth will have recognised his fortitude. If anything, he says, sledging only serves to fire him up to perform even better. “Obviously as a youngster you’re going to cop some verbal abuse and you expect it. I just think for me it actually hypes me up and I actually play better so I’m loving the jousts.”
And what does he make of people singing his praises?
“It does put pressure on one but you try to block that out and concentrate on your game.”
Such is his burgeoning reputation that there have been attempts to lure him away from suitors both north and west.
“I do want to stay closer to home. I’m from the Eastern Cape and proud to be from here and I’m enjoy playing my cricket here at the Warriors.”
The former Hudson Park schoolboy packs a mean punch and whether it is a sumptuous straight drive or a vicious square cut or pull, the result is more often impressive than not
Above: File image of Sinethemba Qeshile (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)
Published by The Herald (South Africa) on 11 Oct 2018