Du­miny’s cover-drives will be missed in the Test arena

Sunday Tribune - - NEWS&VIEWS - ZAAHIER ADAMS

SINCE mak­ing his first-class de­but while still oc­cu­py­ing the Plum­stead High school benches JP Du­miny had it all, start­ing with that classy cover-drive that caused grown men to drool.

When it all worked for him he was as mag­nif­i­cent to watch as any bats­man South Africa has ever pro­duced, whose tal­ents was once so mas­ter­ful that it even in­duced the hard-nosed for­mer Aus­tralian cap­tain Ian Chap­pell to chris­ten Du­miny “the next Ricky Ponting”.

Yet, some­how, Du­miny never quite re­alised the depth of the gifts that had been bestowed on him or the ex­pec­ta­tions of many.

And on a Friday, Du­miny de­cided the time has come to pack away his first-class cricket whites for the fi­nal time, thus re­tir­ing from Test cricket in the process.

“I have thor­oughly en­joyed the priv­i­lege and op­por­tu­nity to rep­re­sent my coun­try in 46 Tests and the Cape Co­bras in 108 first-class matches over the last 16 years,” Du­miny, 33, said.

“It is an ex­pe­ri­ence that can­not be re­placed and one I will al­ways cher­ish. Test cricket has al­ways been the pin­na­cle and I’ve been for­tu­nate enough to ex­pe­ri­ence mem­o­rable high­lights with the Proteas and also with the Co­bras.

“In re­cent years I have been priv­i­leged to be a se­nior mem­ber and cus­to­dian of a spe­cial team en­vi­ron­ment and cul­ture that has made me very proud.”

The high­lights, of course, will be Du­miny’s very first two Test matches; a mag­i­cal un­beaten half-cen­tury on de­but at the Waca that helped South Africa chase down 414, which was ex­traor­di­nar­ily sur­passed the fol­low­ing week when the young man from Strand­fontein hum­bled the Aus­tralians with a glo­ri­ous 166 at that coli­seum of cricket, the MCG, to power the Proteas to a maiden Test series tri­umph Down Un­der.

It was a sem­i­nal mo­ment, which led to Mark Ni­cholas, on com­men­tary, ex­claim­ing “You beauty, you su­per­star” when Du­miny had reached his cen­tury.

Ni­cholas’ eter­nal line proved to be a bur­den too heavy for Du­miny to carry over the past decade, not­with­stand­ing the fact that an Achilles ten­don rup­ture and fur­ther ail­ments ham­pered his progress.

Equally, Du­miny suf­fers from a chronic knee problem which forces him to train with an ice pack to ease the pain. But de­spite all these trou­bles, there were fleet­ing cel­e­bra­tions of his tal­ent with ad­di­tional cen­turies in Welling­ton (2012), Port Elizabeth (2014), Galle (2014), Perth (2016) and Jo­han­nes­burg (2017).

Du­miny has al­ways been frank about his short­com­ings and first to ad­mit when he wasn’t pulling his weight. It was this type of hon­esty that en­deared him to his Proteas team­mates.

Du­miny is not lost to cricket en­tirely. He will con­tinue play­ing lim­ited-overs – both 50 overs and T20 – with the 2019 World Cup in Eng­land right at the top of the pri­or­ity list.

Du­miny has done ster­ling a job over the past cou­ple of years with schools through his JP21 Project – he has of­fered his ser­vices “as a men­tor/con­sul­tant” to the Cape Co­bras coach­ing staff to as­sist with devel­op­ment.

Du­miny will also still be in seen ac­tion in the Global T20 League this sea­son, where he will lead the Cape Town Knight Rid­ers.

JP DU­MINY

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