Some young talents in sport often succumb to the pressure, but in fast bowler Wayne Parnell, the South African cricket team may have a young talent who can turn around their reputation of choking on the international stage. Ali Khimji meets the future star of international cricket.
Last October, during Australia’s tour of South Africa and in the second of the T20 series, Wayne Parnell, a fast bowler, wasn’t having the best of days with his bowling. Even though he managed to run out Cameron White, Australia’s top scorer on the day, he gave up 44 runs from his four overs. When he came in at 8th in the batting order, most spectators had written off South Africa’s chances of getting anything from the game.
However, Wayne struck up a formidable batting partnership with Juan Theron to take South Africa to an unlikely three-wicket victory over Australia. Wayne scored 29 runs off 11 balls, and Juan 30 from 16 deliveries for South Africa to win with five balls to spare and tie the T20 series score at 1-1. After a year where he had looked like he was still shaking off the groin injury that he picked up in May 2010, it was the perfect match to lift the 22-year-old’s confidence.
In his short career so far, Wayne has managed to prove himself as one of South Africa’s promising talents in cricket. His earliest memories of playing cricket were with his father in their backyard at the age of seven. “At primary school I pretty much played every sport that I was able to,” says Wayne. “It was probably because I’m so competitive and that I wanted to play everything, that I was able to progress in cricket.”