A record breaking and statistical leaderboard topping stint abroad has left Sunfoil Dolphins’ Daryn Smit full of confidence and given the all-rounder a renewed energy ahead of the upcoming 2015/16 South African domestic cricket season.
The middle order batsman’s 1108 Lancashire league runs see him standing head and shoulders above the rest with the bat – overseas professionals included – while his handy leg-spin has reaped 65 scalps and a best of 6/22 with the ball as well.
“Apparently to pass the thousand league runs for the season mark in July is quite unheard of and while stats are not really why we play the game, they do give a perspective as to how well or how badly things are going,” explained a pleased Smit.
“My current stats show that things have gone really, really well for me with the bat while I’m also the leading wicket taker so the bowling has gone really well too!
“I’ve already re-signed to come back to Ramsbottom again next year and I think three years in a row at the same club for a professional is pretty rare so that shows how well its gone over here for me,” he added.
The long-standing servant of KZN Cricket achieved a rare double towards the back end of the local 2014/15 season when he notched up his 100th cap in both First Class and List A formats, a remarkable feat that went somewhat unnoticed by many at the time.
Smit’s league contributions – together with a remarkable T20 campaign that saw him top the standings for runs scored (399), wickets taken (17) and the highest individual score (110 not out) – have however left most speechless, and he’s not quite done yet.
Such has been the weight of his efforts abroad that Smit could yet become only the fifth person in the Lancashire league’s history to achieve ‘the double’ of 1000 runs and 100 wickets in the same season; this despite having to head home four weeks short of the UK season’s conclusion.
While his successes on the field can be appreciated by all, some time with his wife Sarah in a fresh environment has also been a positive Smit has taken from his stint at Ramsbottom.
“Things are going brilliantly here in the UK” confirmed Smit, shortly before lighting another trademark midweek braai. “There won’t be any hamburger patties or sausages on this barbeque though, that I can assure you!”
“The people here have made Sarah and I feel really welcome and Ramsbottom has become a second home to us now!
“We have really had a great time over here; our families have come over for a while, we’ve travelled a bit and done the whole ‘Tommy the Tourist’ thing and, after 14 years of first class cricket, it has been fantastic to break the monotony of staying at home for another winter.”
While having enjoyed his time abroad, Smit is also looking forward to returning to home and contributing greatly to the Sunfoil Dolphins cause.
“I’m still loving my cricket as much as always and I’m playing some of the best cricket of my career,” said Smit. “I’m looking forward to getting home and transferring that into Dolphins cricket.”
“The whole idea of being over here for the winter is to make sure that by the time you come home ahead of the South African season you won’t have to feel your way back into it and try build up towards the new season so, from that point of view, I think this trip has definitely served its purpose.
“I’m looking to come home full of confidence having gotten a lot of runs and wickets under the belt but, most importantly, I’m also coming back fresh after the break and full of a desire to get back to Kingsmead and to see all the people again.”