Boje relives schoolboy days

Boje relives schoolboy days

by Neil Manthorp 21/10/2000

Nicky Boje has always been a batsman. Some people who watched his brilliant century in the first NZ one-dayer may be surprised. Unlike those unfortunate players who need to ‘prove’ it, however, poor old Nicky’s problem has always been to make people REALISE it!

Those ‘privileged selectors’ who watched him bat at number four or five in the SA Schools side of 1989 or 1990 were unilateral in their opinion that Nicky was a man (make that a batsman) capable of playing for South Africa and yet cricketing fate conspired to turn him into a left arm spinner.

The country has always lacked spinners so, at schoolboy level, Nicky was encouraged to combine the dual role of opening the bowling with his left arm seamers followed by a few ‘tweakers’ in the middle of the innings. “Someone had to do it!” he laughs now.

His strength has always been with willow in hand, however, and maybe now his lifelong ambition – maybe that should be ‘cricket-long ambition’ – will now be realised.

Ever since Boje broke into the international scene, his (private) desire has been to make a top-six place for himself in the national team. In some ways his natural brilliance with the bat has allowed him the opportunity to experiment – and almost perfect – his ability to spin the ball, but all the time he was aware that he was being judged on ‘another job’.

How long will Jonty last? Will Daryll carry on much longer? Could Lance move to number five? Surely, though, Boje’s recent achievements with the ball – and now with the bat – mean that we can all treat him in the same category of all-rounders as Polly, Zulu and Jacques?

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