Quinton de Kock
Making his debut for the Proteas in the T20 international against New Zealand as a 20 year old in 2012, Quinton de Kock has taken the cricketing world by storm.
A powerful hitter and good wicketkeeper, he is currently in Sri Lanka with the Proteas following a stint playing in the IPL for the Delhi Daredevils, his second year of playing in India.
De Kock has starred for South Africa in all three formats of the game and many pundits believe that he could be one of the best wicketkeeper-batsmen the country has ever produced. High praise indeed, but how is he dealing with the pressure?
“I was 16 when I started to realise that cricket was something that I could make a career out of. My dad and I sat down and discussed my goals and my future in the sport. So far, everything has gone according to plan and I am fortunate that my dad has been with me all this time and helped mentor me to be where I am today.”
For now, De Kock aims to keep his spot in the team as well as win a World Cup or two for the Proteas. Chatting to him, one realises that he is laid back and takes things in his stride.
“I adapt to situations as they arise. People tend to over-analyse things especially in professional sport. But sport is meant to be fun, so the day you stop enjoying is when you should reconsider why you are playing.”
He tries to have a balanced life, but realises that his career will last only a certain amount of time.
“It is best to make the most of it now. I have especially enjoyed playing in the IPL with the bigger crowds and the fantastic atmosphere. My test debut against Australia earlier this year was also a great experience although I was incredibly nervous.” — Iwan Pienaar