As mentioned in our previous article where we focused on our soccer greats, motor F1 legends and today we feature our cricket greats playing in the Sun International Pro-Am on the 27 February.
Sun International is an organization with vision and leaders in the hospitality industry globally. They have consistently and continuously celebrated and hosted our sporting heroes. This Pro-AM taking place on the 27 February is no exception. As a nation, we have much to be proud of as we are a leading cricket playing nation and one of the top 10 countries sanctioned by the International Cricket Council to play Test Cricket. We read about this pool of talent below making it possible and guess who gets to play golf with them?
André Nel played Test cricket and ODIs as a fast bowler but has since retired opting to play county cricket for Surrey. In January 2005 against England he took 6/81 in the first innings of the Test. These remained his best innings bowling figures until South Africa’s tour of the West Indies in April 2005 when in the 3rd Test at Kensington Oval he took 6/32 to go with his first innings 4 wickets. This gave him his first 10 wicket haul in Test cricket and he was subsequently named man of the match.
Nel went on to take 14 wickets during his side’s tour of Australia later in 2005, finishing the year with 36 victims at 20.72. He has constantly troubled Brian Lara in Test cricket, having dismissed him on 8 occasions.
A right-handed batsman and a useful right-arm medium-fast bowler, Davids started his career with the Boland cricket team and then moved to the Nashua Cape Cobras. He performed well in the 2009 Champions League Twenty20 for the Cobras, finishing in the top-ten run-scorers in the competition with 137 runs at a strike-rate of 110.48. Davids then moved to the Nashua Titans at the end of the 2009 season and has had reasonable success, often appearing for the Easterns amateur team. He was appointed first-class captain of the Nashua Titans at the start of the 2012/13 season.
On 21 December 2012 he made his debut for the South African T20 team opening against New Zealand. In his second game he scored 55 runs from 38 balls. He is a well-talented, stable but aggressive right-handed batsman.
Is a former South African cricketer, who holds the record for the most Test dismissals by a wicket-keeper. He has represented Border, South Africa, Africa XI, ICC World XI and Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League. He had been a regular feature of the South African side since the 1997/1998 tour to Australia, until his retirement from international cricket in July 2012 after a serious eye injury against Somerset. A man to go to war with, but never against, Mark Boucher packed all the archetypical attributes of the South African cricketer into his short, stocky frame. He was relentlessly competitive, invariably aggressive, and as hard and uncompromising as the new ball.
He is an all-rounder who bowls right-arm medium fast and bats left-handed. He was ear marked as the new Lance Klusener from an early age and is famous for his six hitting abilities. He has a particularly impressive first class record, with a batting average of 44.0 and a bowling average of 29.0
Morkel’s limited-overs prowess made him one of the biggest buys at the inaugural IPL auction. Morkel sold for US$675,000 to Chennai Super Kings. He made his name as a reliable lower-order allrounder and was retained by the franchise for several seasons.
By 2010, Morkel was only playing ODI cricket sporadically for South Africa but the shortest format was keeping his career alive. He was part of the 2010, 2012 and 2014 World T20 squads; the last of those tournaments seemed to spell the end of his international career.
As Jacques Kallis’ career wound down and South Africa needed to search for other options, Wiese came into contention. He was taken on the 2013 tour of Sri Lanka and played in the three T20Is, but modest returns sent him back to the domestic system.
The Summer of 2014-15 was among Wiese’s best. He was a key performer in the Titans’ one-day cup win, picking up seven wickets and proving a handy lower-order contributor, with four fifties.
Wiese was the top wicket-taker in a three-match T20I series against West Indies that year, which also included a career-best 5 for 23. In that match, Wiese showed his ability with the cutter, an important skill on subcontinent pitches.
A wicketkeeper-batsman, Kuhn has been playing for the Titans since the 2004-05 season and has pretty much cemented his place as their first-choice gloveman. His call-up in October 2009 for the limited-overs series against Zimbabwe and England indicates that the South African management considers him a long-term successor to Mark Boucher.
Kuhn’s batting has undoubtedly worked in his favour as far as national selection is concerned. With a good record in all three domestic forms of the game, he has been a consistent performer for the Titans over the past three seasons. Kuhn was the second highest run scorer in the 2006-07 SuperSport Series with 776 runs at 48.50, and his century against the Dolphins helped the Titans claim the SuperSport title that season. In the 2015–16 Sunfoil Series, he became the sixth South African player to score 1,000 runs in a single first-class season. In July 2016 Cricket South Africa named him as the first-class cricketer of the season and the domestic players’ player of the season.
In the words of Rob Dalton, Marketing and gaming manager at Sun International: “To see the pro golfers and amateurs mingle with our sporting heroes is what our word class golf courses is all about. We choose to celebrate with these heroes whilst they alive as we all too often remember them only when they have passed on. To achieve what they have is a celebratory moment each time you in their company”
Warren Rudolph, events manager of Sun International echoes Dalton’s sentiment: “we spoil them from the time they arrive to the time they leave…” Great weather, the very best of company on and off the golf course and the warmest in hospitality is what keeps attracting us to this beautiful game of golf at the best of venues, Sun City!