To many who saw him taking the field in bright green Protea clothing, David Wiese was among the handiest all-rounders for South Africa.
To many, who saw him afterward, a period of time after playing 31 ODIs for South Africa, David Wiese was the talented cricketer in white ball county clothing for Sussex, among the many rising names on the South African circuit that moved to England.
Then came a time where many saw him donning the red of Royal Challengers Bangalore, playing in T20 cricket’s famous fiesta in the Indian sub-continent. In between, he went to play in the Caribbean and Pakistan.
But that was only before he’d settle to wearing the bold Namibian colours, which David Wiese finally seemed to have found a space for himself. A place where his enormous all round talent can speak in high cricketing decibels. An opportunity to find a room for expression by way of a bowling and batting responsibility that he’s fully accountable for, one he has already contributed handily to.
An avid example of this we all learnt from was 2021’s colossus for the men’s game: the T20 World Cup in the UAE.
Without wasting much time in repaying the faith Namibian cricketing authorities had placed in his abilities, David Wiese stuck a resounding unbeaten 66.
A pounding knock at a strike rate of 164, including four fours and five sixes, Wiese took just fewer than six overs to strike his maiden fifty in a World Cup, and with it, victory.
This was when his side wasn’t tasked with chasing a paltry score. To any team, whether the eventual winners Australia or the finalists, New Zealand, being asked to chase a 165 in a T20 World Cup contest can never be an easy challenge.
This was Namibia, a side not with extravagant experience of playing World Cups, but one that had a responsible man driving the game forwards.
That Wiese did it in some style, guiding the side with his bat, which though was only after he’d remove the big wicket of the experienced Roelf van der Merwe, was the icing on the cake.
Any circumspect glares of whether this was some flash-in-the-pan knock would be ruled out the very next game, where Wiese produced a mighty cameo, his unbeaten 28 off just 14 deliveries once again taking Namibia home. The only difference being on this occasion, the man who had gone for eight an over in the previous encounter (wherein he took just 1 wicket), would remove the dangerous hitters of the white- ball: Gareth Delany and Harry Tector.
Though, he’d surely have thanked his teammate Ruben Trumpelmann, who’d put early pressure on the Irish by putting a tight lid on the scoring rates.
Whilst chasing, which of lately, seems to have become a razor-sharp edge in his game, Wiese was particularly punishing on Craig Young.
After the early wickets of Craig Williams and Zane Green all thanks to the very sensational and quietly shining Curtis Campher, Namibia were indeed looking for someone experienced who could guide the innings and stabilize the chase that did at the end of 14 overs look edgy.
Gladly, one man was there, the contest’s eventual Player of the Match.
The long locked cricketing gift from South Africa to a wider world, gladly accepted by a country that has the passion and guts to go the glorious way.
But having said it all, what’s important is to focus on the heart of the David Wiese story.
His is the tale of a man who, at 36, found new gears to put in his cricketing vehicle so that it could go much further, for it had to.
Given it was being propelled by a spirited cricketer who, instead of being disconsolate, with a whirlwind cricketing establishment in South Africa decided to look ahead.
And right when traversing continents, changing jerseys and looking for a bigger identity than he had could have somewhere strangulated a promising career, Wiese wisely kept trying.
Here he is then, aged 36, ready to don new challenges and further the chances for Namibia with his dashing hard-as-nails batting and useful medium pacers.
The long locks tell the story of a man who’s persisted, and didn’t wither away in the journey even as to some, he may be in the autumn of his career.
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