The Momentum One Day Cup is up and running and the Dolphins have impressed immediately. Part of that success has been the great form shown so far from previous skipper Daryn Smit. We chatted to the wicket-keeper all-rounder about all things cricket.
All Things Jabu (ATJ): Thanks for having the chat with us, how are you feeling about the new season?
Daryn Smit (DS): Thanks Tyron, I am very excited to be playing again after a long, tough, but very productive winter. Fortunately we have started really well so the most important thing for us now is to keep this momentum going by doing what’s been working so far.
ATJ: You captained and kept wicket last season, but the arrival of Morne van Wyk have seen you lose both those positions, is that something that upset you?
DS: I would be lying if I said I was delighted by it all however I was faced with two choices; make waves and kick up a massive fuss about the situation or suck it up, take it on the chin and find new ways for me to positively influence the team. I think it’s pretty obvious which option I chose.
ATJ: You have started the Momentum One Day Cup in some great form with the bat, are you finding it easier to focus on your job with Morne worrying about the other things?
DS: It certainly has felt like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders. In saying that however, I really did love leading the team last season and if the opportunity arose again but perhaps in different circumstances, I would love the chance to do it all over again.
DS: As confused as a chameleon on a smartie box. No seriously though, I certainly haven’t forgone the gloves at all, but in this Momentum Cup my role is primarily as an all-rounder with my leggies expected to be a big part of our bowling unit. The initial plan is that I continue to keep wicket and score big runs in the 4 day competition but who knows what could happen if the leggies prove to be a huge success in this competition.
ATJ: Is there any player at the Dolphins that you think, apart from yourself, bitterly unlucky to have missed out on National selection so far?
DS: I think Vaughn van Jaarsveld was really close last season and with continued match winning performances this season I believe it can only do his chances the world of good. The same would certainly apply for Kyle Abbott.
ATJ: A few years back you were in the South African squad of 30 for the World Cup and narrowly missed out. Do you still harbour strong ambitions to play for the Protea’s?
DS: The interesting thing about that is that in 2009 when I made that squad it was actually at the time I was bowling so perhaps more opportunities will present themselves again this season. I still have massive aspirations to play for my country and I feel now at 29, I am playing some of the best cricket of my career and I would be more prepared than ever if the opportunity presented itself.
DS: It’s tough to pinpoint certain highlights but definitely captaining the Dolphins was a very proud time in my career. The past 10 years of my career have all been fantastic. The opportunities it has afforded me to travel, meet people, grow as a person and set a platform for the next phase of my life has been both invaluable and exciting.
ATJ: You are also a really good golfer, which is the best golf course you have ever played?
DS: I was down to a 2 handicap a couple of years ago but now I play off a 7. Strange story, as my batting has got better and better my golf has actually got worse. I guess it’s the batting stroke that puts food on the table though so I can live with that. Gary Player at Sun City is by far my favourite course. Legends in Limpopo was a fantastic experience and the extreme 19th was literally breath-taking. Pearl Valley in Paarl was an amazing day out, particularly because we had just beaten the Cobras in 2 and half days. Closer to home you can’t beat the tradition and test of a round at Durban Country Club.
DS – I’d bowl it at Dale Steyn, payback is a bitch!
ATJ: Alongside Grey’s Anatomy, what other sport do you enjoy watching? And which teams do you support?
DS – Hahahaha dammit word gets around quickly! I love my footy and I am a massive Everton fan. I watch all four golf majors religiously. Sharks forever! Cricket is my life and the DSTV hardly moves off channel 212… unless Everton are on the box!
ATJ: Lastly, if you could give kids one piece of advice, what would it be?
DS: Do what you love, love what you do!
Follow Daryn on Twitter and have a chat with one of the good guys in SA Cricket.