Henry Davids retires and leaves behind a legacy of success
JOHANNESBURG – From Pniel to Pretoria and then back to Paarl, Henry Davids, did a lot of winning over the course of two decades as a professional cricketer.
Davids, who announced his retirement from the sport on Thursday, won 13 domestic trophies, 11 as part of a Titans franchise that dominated the local game in the last decade.
Davids was a crucial part of that success, his flair at the top of the order – that included a dreamy lofted cover drive – made him one of the best limited overs batsmen this country has produced. There are many, including the Titans’ CEO, Jacques Faul, who feel he should have played more than just 11 matches for the Proteas (two ODIs and 9 T20s).
“Henry was the kind of player, you hoped would play for you,” said Faul. “He was the ultimate professional, a great team man and a great person.”
Davids’ senior career started at Boland, and at the advent of the franchise era he was included in the Cape Cobras squad, and was part of the 2008/09 group that won the domestic T20 crown – a side that included Vernon Philander, Graeme Smith, JP Duminy and Herschelle Gibbs.
Davids took his talents north the following season, and in the 2011/12 season helped the Titans to first of three championship ‘doubles’ in his time there, as they won the Four-Day competition (then still known as the SuperSport Series) and the T20 Challenge. Further ‘doubles’ came in 2015/16 and again in 2017/18.
Davids was Man of the Match in 2015/16 T20 final at SuperSport Park, primarily for picking up two wickets with his flighty off-spin. He had a real penchant for delivering his best in finals – he scored a century in the 2016/17 Momentum One-day Cup final against the Warriors, sharing a partnership of 212 runs for the opening wicket with Aiden Markram. And in his last final, in 2019, was named man of the match, for making 77 off 44 balls playing for the Paarl Rocks in the Mzansi Super League against the Tshwane Spartans, which contained many of the players he’d spent many years playing alongside in Centurion.
“It’s been one hell of a ride, with lots of trophies, lots of friendships and lots of memories,” Davids said in a statement released on-line announcing his retirement. There were tributes from former teammates – including Farhaan Behardien and Albie Morkel – and coaches including CSA’s current high performance Vincent Barnes.
Davids played 149 first class matches, scoring over 7700 runs, while he also picked up 56 wickets. He was a potent top order player in the limited overs formats, playing 179 one-day matches and 185 T20s – including a stint in the Caribbean Premier League.
Faul confirmed that Davids would continue to work with Northerns helping their development initiatives particularly with young batsmen.