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Painting to celebrate Keshav Maharaj’s historic Test cricket hat-trick in the Caribbean

KZNCU chief executive Heinrich Strydom presented Keshav Maharaj with a painting done by Richie Ryall which captured the historic moment on behalf of the KZNCU. Picture: Facebook/Dolphins Cricket

KZNCU chief executive Heinrich Strydom presented Keshav Maharaj with a painting done by Richie Ryall which captured the historic moment on behalf of the KZNCU. Picture: Facebook/Dolphins Cricket

Published Feb 5, 2022

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DURBAN - The KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union (KZNCU) celebrated cricketer Keshav Maharaj who became the first South African cricketer to take a Test hat-trick in 61 years when the Proteas toured the Caribbean in June 2021.

Maharaj became the second South African after Geoff Griffin in the history of the sport to take a Test hat-trick and the first in the last 61 years.

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The hat-trick was completed when Maharaj picked up the wicket of the West Indies’ Joshua de Silva on day four of the second Test at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in Saint Lucia.

On Tuesday at the Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium, chief executive Heinrich Strydom presented Maharaj with a painting done by Richie Ryall which captured the historic moment on behalf of the KZNCU.

“Our KZNCU Recognition Committee felt that it was an incredible achievement that needed to be celebrated in a special manner. We are all well aware of the wonderful paintings that Richie Ryall has done over the years and felt that a painting would be a perfect way to capture that moment.

“The idea was to depict all three wickets that were part of the hat trick, as well as some additional info that would explain the magnitude of the achievement,” Strydom said.

Strydom said he was very happy when he saw the painting.

“Extraordinary work for an extraordinary achievement,” Strydom said.

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He said Maharaj has been an amazing ambassador over many years for KZN and the Dolphins.

“He is a true professional, and over the past few years he has been simply phenomenal on and off the field for the Hollywoodbets Dolphins and the Proteas,” Strydom said.

Ryall said the painting in total, from initial line drawing, layout, redraw and revised layout and approval from Strydom, to the finalised painting, took approximately a month.

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“The brief was to include the memorable images and highlights of the hat-trick, showing Keshav’s delight at claiming the third wicket, Wiaan Mulder’s incredible one handed catch at leg slip as well as the details in text of the three wickets.

“Once we had identified the images to be included I then laid them out as I thought they would work in a pleasing design,” Ryall said.

The painting done by Richie Ryall which captured the historic moment on behalf of the KZNCU. Picture: Facebook/Dolphins Cricket

Ryall said he loved trying to create a story through the images in his sport paintings and he was very lucky to be able to use incredible reference photos. Once he has all possible reference images he goes through a process of discarding the ones that he does not think will work until he is happy with a selection that he feels will work and will convey the story that he was trying to get across.

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“Once I have the images I use my design eye to shape the images into a harmonious layout with some bigger images which are more important, like the central portrait of Keshav and build around that one.

“Every painting of mine, including my sporting pieces, have particular challenges, but I love the process of trying to create and mould images into a piece of art that will combine all the elements into an artistically pleasing solution. The real challenge comes once I begin painting, with trying to obtain good likenesses of all the people and then blending all the colours into a pleasing final artwork,” Ryall said.

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