Proud moment for Lutho Sipamla
Excited, emotional but happy was how Warriors fast bowler Lutho Sipamla described the moment he received news last week that he was selected to the Proteas cricket squad for the international T20 series against Pakistan.
The 20-year-old right-arm quick was named as part of the 14-man squad and will be in line for selection for the three-match series which got under way at Newlands on Friday.
About his selection, Sipamla said: “It was not something I was expecting and although I know I have put in a lot of hard work, it still came as something completely out of the blue.”
“It was a very proud moment for me and I’m very honoured,” he added.
Realising a dream that has brewed within him since an early age, Sipamla is hopeful he can get some game time and said he would use the opportunity to learn as much as possible to improve his game.
Sipamla was one of the breakout stars in the inaugural edition of the Mzansi Super League where he played for the Tshwane Spartans. He was the joint second-highest wickettaker in the tournament with 16 wickets at 20,56.
His economy rate of 8,89 per over was a tad high, but his job was to take early wickets – which he did with conviction. This forced national selectors to sit up and take notice.
Studying a BCom degree in business management and economics at Nelson Mandela University, Sipamla would have pursued a career in chartered accountancy had it not been for his cricket career.
He said the MSL was a stepping stone for him as it opened his eyes to the rigours of playing cricket alongside big-name players.
“MSL helped me to raise my standards because I was playing against a number of quality players, so making sure I prepare well before games was crucial for me,” he explained.
The former Grey Junior and High School pupil has seen his name thrust into prominence since making his debut in the 2017/18 season for the Eastern Cape franchise.
He began his career at the Youth Cricket Academy in the Bay at eight years old, which is where he is said to have fallen in love with the game.
He took to the field in his first competitive match for Grey’s U9 side.
His exploits on the field were noticeable, so much so that only two years later he received his first call-up to the Eastern Province U11 side.
This, he explained, helped him to grow into the mould of competitive cricket and he was fortunate enough to make his way through the age groups up to the EP amateur side.
He made his first-class debut for EP in the Sunfoil 3-Day Cup in January 2017 and just a month later he followed that up with his List A debut for EP in the 2016-17 CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge.
In 2016, Sipamla was named as part of the South Africa U19 side to play at the 11th edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh.
“It was a very proud moment and great achievement for me, as it was one of the highest teams one could play for while still in school,”
In September 2018, he was named in the EP squad for the 2018 Africa T20 Cup.
On the upcoming series against Pakistan, Sipamla said he would just go out and do what had worked best for him.
“If I do get a chance to play, I’ll look to back my preparation and processes I have made in the bigger matches and just look to enjoy my time out on the field,” he said.
Sipamla said the recipe to success, especially for the younger players, was to take in and learn as much as possible about the game,
“You have to take every piece of advice of your coaches, and see how you can build on that. Couple that with hard work and you can make a success of anything, be it cricket, or anything else you want to do in life,” he said...