Finalists Province kept their eye on the ball

Beuran Hendricks has been the sharp tip of the Western Province spear this season. | BackpagePix

Beuran Hendricks has been the sharp tip of the Western Province spear this season. | BackpagePix

Published Feb 27, 2024

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Zaahier Adams

Beuran Hendricks claims the secret behind Western Province’s transformation this 2023/24 season is that they have “shut out the outside noise”.

After eight barren seasons down at Newlands that coincided with the stadium and team losing its title sponsor, plunging the embattled union into a financial crisis, Province have seemingly turned the corner.

WP are on the cusp of doing the domestic double with Kyle Verreyenne’s team facing the Lions in the CSA Four-Day Series final at the Wanderers starting tomorrow. Verreynne has already led Province to the 1-Day Cup trophy this season to begin the rehabilitation process.

Furthermore, the Western Province Cricket Association announced a headline sponsor last week with the return of World Sports Betting to Newlands after a four-year hiatus.

Throughout this tumultuous period, Hendricks believes the key for the playing group was to keep their eyes focused firmly on what they could control – and that was on starting to win cricket matches consistently.

Beuran Hendricks has been the sharp tip of the Western Province spear this season. | BackpagePix

“We have let go of all the exterior stresses … shut out the outside noise,” Hendricks said.

“A lot of things have happened over the years. We’ve gone from the Cape Cobras and back to Western Province.

“We know that there have been administrative issues which sidetracked guys’ vision towards competing for trophies. We wanted to let go of that.

“We wanted to win games of cricket. We wanted to start fresh and it was a mental shift.

“We had a sit down and asked ourselves how do we get back to winning trophies and being one of the top provinces in the country.”

Hendricks, 33, is overtly passionate about restoring Province to former glories. Not only does he lead the seam attack – Hendricks has 24 wickets at an average of 20.2 – but he is also the team’s designated social media manager.

He therefore desperately wants to get Province over the line this week, particularly as they are facing his former team too.

“Coming back to WP after a few years at the Lions, knowing the state WP were in, I wanted to lend a hand to reignite things.

“It was the motivation within me to get Western Province to a dominant state in South African cricket. It is not just about the current squad that we have built over the past two years, but it’s about building the future and getting the young guys to know what it takes to play at this level before moving onto higher honours.”

But while the bigger picture down at Newlands remains paramount, Hendricks doesn’t want to lose focus on the immediate task at hand, which is defeating the Lions this week.

“We know it’s not easy going to the Wanderers and knock teams over. They are well-equipped at playing in their own conditions,” Hendricks said.

“And also we started like a house on fire last year … we won three out of our first four games. And then at the back end we lost our way.

“It’s not about how you start, but how you finish. This year is different. We want to finish on a good note. It is going to be a good contest.”

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