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#Assupol TuksCricket is the breeding ground for future SA stars
11 February 2018
Assupol TuksCricket is where talented young cricketers get to hone their skills to perfection before going on to play for South Africa.
 
It is a fair assumption to make considering that four former Assupol Tuks players might take to the field tomorrow for the 4th One Day International against India at the Wanderers. It could have have been five if Faf du Plessis was not injured. 
 
The Assupol Tuks players in the South African one-day squad are AB de Villiers, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen and Lungi Ngidi. 
 
Another interesting statistic is that three former Assupol Tuks players captained the Proteas. Du Plessis is the current captain, while AB de Villiers is a former captain. Aiden Markram captained the Proteas in the last one-day internationals against India. 
 
In an interview with Klaasen, the reason for the Assupol TuksCricket’s success becomes evident. He credits the coaches who made him believe in his abilities. 
 
“There are not enough words to describe my appreciation for what they have done over the last seven years to help me to improve my game as batsman and wicketkeeper. 
 
Klaasen who matriculated at HoërskoolMenlopark credits the former Assupol TuksCricket coach, Pierre de Bruyn, as one of the coaches who really made him believe in his abilities. 
 
“It was not just Pierre who helped me. I have learned a lot also from Kruger van Wyk and Chris van Noordwyk. What made it exciting to be involved at Assupol Tuks Cricket is that even though cricket is a team sport the coaches consider every player as an individual. They go out of their way to get to know all of us and to find out what our respective strong points and weaknesses were. As former players, they believe in never giving up until the last ball is bowled and they installed the same principle with every one of us.”
 
Klaasen said he only started playing wicketkeeper in his last year at primary school up until then he saw himself as a batting-bowling all-rounder. 
 
“Once Grant Morgan helped me to master the finer intricacies of wicket keeping I started to enjoy it. One of the perks of being a wicketkeeper is that you always got something alongside you with whom you can joke and philosophise in between bowling deliveries.”
 
Sledging has become part of parcel of cricket, and many tend to think it is the wicketkeeper’s job to psyche a batsman out. At times this can get personal. According to Klaasen he will refrain from saying hurtful things.
 
“I will never start the ‘fight’. You got to know when to do it. Sometimes when you try and psyche a batsman out it has the opposite effect. It will motivate them.”
 
After winning the Varsity Cricket Tournament last weekend, Assupol Tuks Cricket can lay claim to being the best club team in South Africa. 
 
The last time Assupol Tuks lost any tournament they competed in was precisely a year ago. It was the 2017 Varsity –final. Northwest Pukke managed to beat Tuks with seven balls to spare.
 
Since that setback, the team from Pretoria went on to win the Momentum National Club Championships. They also dominated the various Northerns Cricket Union (NCU) leagues ending the year on another highlight by claiming the South African Universities title.
- Author Wilhelm de Swardt
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Last edited by Leonore JordaanEdit
Heinrich Klaasen Photo Credit: Reg Caldecott