How long a year can be when the stars align.
On Wednesday, convenor of national selectors Linda Zondi read out Maharaj’s name along with 14 others who will represent
“It was a very nice surprise, and I am looking forward to playing in a tournament for my country,” Maharaj explained.
It completes the most remarkable summer of his life, where he has risen from obscurity to being central to the national squad’s plans.
The irony, as Maharaj himself admitted, is that the one-day squad call-up is now a surprise, even though his skill-set had always suggested this path made more sense.
He bowls confidently, with variety in pace and line – according to circumstances – and, what’s more, he can hold and wield a piece of English willow.
That second bit almost goes completely against the South African spin grain. Indeed, it may be the key to him being indispensable across all formats.
“I have always worked on my batting, because I realise how important it is to try and contribute in all aspects,” the all-rounder reiterated later on Wednesday.
“I wasn’t too happy with my contributions in
Those plans, like so many others, have happily changed now, as Maharaj continues his rise to being
In the season of his lifetime, he has earned himself a Test cap, some memorable scalps, a national contract and, now, a seat on the plane heading to an ICC event.
“I guess I’ll be spending a large chunk of the summer in
He is not completely alien to conditions in the
“So I know what the weather can be like at this time of year, but I’m looking forward to playing in those conditions now,” he said cheerfully.
That’s the thing with Maharaj. His ability – and willingness – to adapt to whatever presents itself is paying dividends.
May and June was supposed to be a bit of downtime, looking ahead to a Test series against
The sun is evidently still in full bloom, in the extended summer of his wildest dreams.