Kara van der Berg
Maties cricket player Kyle Simmonds has been selected to play for the Stellenbosch Kings in the T20 Global League. The T20 Global League allows only two under 23 players to be included in the eight competing teams’ squads.
After filling out forms, it was just a matter of waiting to hear if Kyle Simmonds would be called out on the draft day. “It was a very long day tuning into the livestream video of the draft. We went to four different restaurants throughout the course of the day, just hoping my name would be called out,” said Simmonds.
As many in the cricket world suspected, his name was called out. “I was back in res when I finally got drafted. For the next ten minutes I couldn’t stop screaming and shouting,” he explained.
Stellenbosch University (SU) has been a big influence in the young cricketer’s career. “Maties was the solid base I needed to help my career. A great first season for the varsity team and a good Varsity Cricket competition last year got me into the Boland team.” He went on to add, “I couldn’t be prouder to represent Stellenbosch University.”
The Stellenbosch Kings, formerly the Stellenbosch Monarchs, are thus of some symbolic significance to Simmonds. “I would have loved getting drafted by any team, but to be chosen by the Stellenbosch team was just so much more special to me. The fact that I’m based in my university’s town is such an honour for me.”
It’s also the team of Protea captain Faf du Plessis. “He is definitely a player I’m looking forward to working with most when the tournament starts.”
When asked if he is nervous to be competing alongside and against cricket stars like Du Plessis, Simmonds simply responded: “I think my nerves will be overcome by excitement.” Simmonds is looking forward to what the future beyond the T20 Global League will bring.
“For me, test cricket is still my ultimate goal. I love the longer format and it has definitely become a bit of a speciality for me of late.”
For now, he is happy to have been granted this opportunity.
“I don’t want to be boxed as a certain format cricketer, I believe I can do well and adapt to all formats and improve in all of them throughout whatever career I may have,” he said.
The second year BCom Management Science student is no stranger to hard work. When he is not practising cricket, Simmonds tries to maintain his studies.
That does not mean he isn’t a typical student.
“A couple drinks and a laugh at Happy Oak with a few mates is always something I find time to do. I’ve found that sometimes taking a break from cricket and work helps me more with balancing the two.”
Despite his massive success, Simmonds remains humble.
“I’m not one for being the centre of attention,” Simmonds said when asked about Maties Sport naming him their “Man crush Monday” on Instagram.
“I still feel like I am definitely not someone important enough to have a following just yet.”
We look forward to what Simmond’s debut in the international T20 league will bring.