Recalled Standard Bank Proteas spinner Dane Piedt has revelled in his ‘career-best’ moment, which surprisingly came off the field rather than on it.
Cricketers usually enjoy career-bests on the field, either by taking a chunk of wickets or by piling on a whole host of runs – all in a single innings.
Piedt, who this week was recalled to the national set-up after a three-year absence, was reflecting on his recognition at the annual Cricket South Africa (CSA) awards function held in Pretoria at the start of the month.
The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras captain was named 4-Day Domestic Series Cricketer of the Year and also won the SACA (South African Cricketers’ Association) Most Valuable Player award for 2018/19.
This followed his all-round exploits for the franchise, with his outstanding 54 wickets being the most ever by a South African spinner in a domestic season.
The tally by the 29-year-old came at an average of 27.74 and an economy rate of 2.92. Piedt also struck a career-best 114 during the first-class season.
“The best in my career by a country mile, being captain of the team as well, it means a lot,” Piedt said of his awards.
“Down in Cape Town there’s a lot of pressure on us to win trophies, a lot of people know this, but at the end of the day it’s what we need to do and how we handle the pressure. So overall this is a really proud moment for me in my career.”
Piedt was brilliant from start to finish for the Cobras and led them to the fringes of the four-day title, before they were piped on the line by the bizhub Highveld Lions.
Nonetheless, his form and leadership contributed heavily to Ashwell Prince’s charges controlling the four-day season for 90 percent of the way.
“I always wanted to win the first-class Player of the Season award, so to finally do it is amazing,” he explained. “A lot of our Cobras guys have won it in the past.
“It’s a format of the game that players back home pride themselves on. It’s the hardest format, 40 days of cricket and if you want to win the competition you have to be in the field for a long time.
“These are the trophies I want to take back home and show the guys what it’s all about. I’m really proud about winning this award.
“It’s also a huge privilege to win the SACA MVP. I didn’t play one whole tournament because I got married during that time, but I still came out on top, so that makes me really proud as well.”
Piedt’s stellar long-format form helped him hammer down the door of the national selectors. They eventually answered by recalling him for the upcoming trip to India in October. He will be hoping to add to his seven Test caps, the last of which came against New Zealand at Centurion during 2016.
Meanwhile, the off-break bowler has credited his team-mates for helping him achieve his ‘career-best’ moment. “I think it’s not just me,” he added. “It boils down really to what the team did in that competition.
“There’s bowlers in that attack that did well, there’s batsmen in the line-up that did well. They gave us runs and took wickets.
“We all wanted to take 20 wickets and at the end of the day we didn’t really care who took it. Fortunately, things went my way.
“I bowled quite a bit and I also bowled through a lot of injuries, but to get over 50 wickets, the first spinner to ever do it in South Africa, it’s really a proud moment in my career.”