From recording one of the highest scores for Gugulethu Cricket Club, to coaching in Denmark, Langa’s Shane Mbulelo Nkomo, is living his dream abroad.
Ever since he was a young boy, Nkomo dreamt of travelling the world to pursue what he loves. When the opportunity presented itself this year, the 37-year-old grabbed it with both hands.
He fell in love with cricket by watching the Proteas play on television. His batting skills were sharpened in the streets by guys much older than him.
The feeling of being outside, playing cricket with diverse people, groomed him as a young man from a rough neighbourhood.
“I fell in love with batting in my younger days. It’s just that I didn’t trust my skill back then. I used to be a leg-spin bowler and I still am. As the time went by, I became much more confident in batting than bowling. Hitting those cover drives, back foot punches and straight drives, that feels good,” he said.
For more than three months, Nkomo held the highest batting score in the Western Province Cricket Association’s first division 1A 2022-23 season. He struck 136 runs, not-out, for Gugulethu Cricket Club, against Pinelands Cricket Club.
The high score was soon overshadowed by Northern Goodwood Cricket Club’s Tertius Raubenheimer who scored 141 not-out in February, also against Pinelands.
“During practice with Gugulethu I sat down with the coach and let him know how I feel about opening the batting on the weekend. He told me yes, ‘if you feel ready to open the batting then I will give you a chance.’ So I started preparing myself on the nets asking bowlers if they can use the new ball when they are bowling at me so that I can get used to the swing of the ball. The first ball I faced I blocked it but I could feel that I would score runs, so I did,” he said.
Nkomo said the help from his mentors, Phumzile Msweli, Sakhele Simon, Mpendulo Cuba and Gary Kirsten moulded his batting to be where it is today.
“They simply told me that the secret to batting is to back yourself in every shot that you play. Be positive at all times. Be patient, wait for the bad ball (from the bowler). On top of all that, never forget to enjoy cricket,” he said.
Nkomo said his move to Esbjerg Cricketklub Vestjyden in Denmark was supported by cricket agency, Africa Sports Consultancy.
“As a player-coach it feels so good to be recognised somewhere else. I am in a country that I never thought I would coach. I always tell people never give up on something that you love doing the most. God does open doors when you least expect it. Love the game and respect the game of cricket, stay humble and never forget to pray about the things you want,” he said.