Dewald Brevis has a dream …
One day, he will take his sponsored and branded Toyota FJ Cruiser into the bundus, camera in hand, looking through the lens, searching the thicket and bush for the perfect shot of his elusive prey.
Or perhaps, while walking the streets of India, the dichotomy between urban decay and progress, expansion, wealth and poverty will catch his eye, and he will snap a subject revealing the human condition or a memory of the modern world.
“The photography bug has bitten me,” the 20-year-old Brevis says thoughtfully while speaking to IOL Sport.
“I really look forward to spending time learning about photography and taking pictures.
“I feel it will be great in taking me away from the game and just calming me.
“You need to get away from the game at some point ... you can’t just think cricket. You need to have a distraction. I am a calm person, and photography is great for that.
Love for the Big Five
“I would like to take pictures of whatever captures my eye,” he adds, “whether that is an old building, or an old street, or alley.
“I have already figured out what I would like to take a picture of. In Mumbai, there is a place called Marine Drive.
“I believe it’ll be a great photo opportunity. I love nature, I love animals – so to take pictures of the Big Five would be unbelievable.”
Just how talented Brevis will be with camera in hand remains to be critiqued, but there can be no argument that when he wields the willow, he is a prodigious specimen.
He has just started his professional career and has already been earmarked as the next big thing, the pretender to the crown, king-in-waiting, a future great, a legend in the making – a name that our descendants will speak with reverence.
It might seem all a bit premature. After all, Brevis has only played six first-class games, 15 List A games and 46 T20s, scoring three hundreds across all formats, while recording an underwhelming start to his international career with two T20IS for the Proteas and five runs.
But then there is the flip side of the debate that tips the scales heavily in his favour that he could be fondly remembered.
That argument includes scoring a record 506 runs at an Under-19 World Cup, and being named the 2021 Player of the Tournament; and then becoming the youngest South African man to score a T20 century at 19 years and 185 days, and the fastest men’s batter to reach 150 – off just 52 balls.
Add to that a R6 million contract to play for Mumbai Indians in the IPL, and there is a certainty of belief in his talents.
That all speaks to Brevis’ other dream – the one that he hopes the world will recall him for.
“I want to become the best cricketer in the whole world. I will do whatever it takes to do that.
“I want to be a part of the Proteas (team) that win World Cups, and I want to give the most of myself to that goal.
“I want to be a key member for MI and lift IPL trophies, as well for all their other franchises, like MI New York and in the SA20 for MI Cape Town as well. I want to be myself – always – and create my own legacy.”
Although Brevis admits that T20 dominates the cricketing landscape globally, his ambitions are not merely reserved to that format.
Pinnacle of cricket
“Test cricket is a very big dream for me.
“It is the pinnacle of cricket, and I really want to play for South Africa in Test cricket … It should always be there. It’s an amazing game. It is tough, and I can’t wait to play it myself.
“Test cricket helps to grow your white-ball game tremendously. It makes batting in T20s so much easier.
“At the same time,” he continued, “the 50-over game is a great format. That is where you see big 100s, even 200s. It really tests you. Fifty overs is really a special format, and I want to play it.”
To achieve his goals, Brevis is laser-focused on what needs to be done.
“Training is very important,” he explained.
“You should have a purpose when you go out there to train. Sometimes you can just hit balls and try to hit them as far as you can.
“Otherwise, I want to make sure of my trigger movements, when I am still, how I hit the ball. When I am out there, it’s just you, yourself and your mental game.
“I keep discovering parts of my game when it comes to 50-overs cricket. T20 cricket I have played more, so I know a bit more about my game.
“In 50 overs, I feel now I have found a few more things that work on.
“The biggest thing is to keep it simple and to not overthink it ... to stay in the moment and build my innings.”
The multi-talented Brevis was not always a shoo-in to become a cricketer. Indeed, there was a time when he could consider himself a bit of a scrumhalf when he represented the Blue Bulls at Under-12 and Under-13 level.
Clearly a decision was taken thereafter on which sport to apply his abilities to, and when he speaks about the game, it becomes clear why he chose cricket. An aura of joy radiates from him then.
“As a youngster, I played all ball sports, and I loved playing all of them – but cricket always just stood out for me.
“I loved the feeling of batting, of hitting the ball, the satisfaction you get when you hit sixes, when you hit boundaries, when you take catches, when you take wickets. I just love the game.
“I love watching the game, and I loved watching people hit sixes and stuff. God gave me a passion to play it, and I want to use the talent that he gave me to reach people, and be the best player I can be.”
Brevis recently became the newest Red Bull Athlete, signing on to the brand to join the ranks of fellow South Africans Kagiso Rabada and Siya Kolisi.
“It is really special for me,” he said of joining the energy drink’s stable of sporting personalities.
“I love the brand, I love what it stands for. It suits me also, like how I am.
“I like to be fearless. I want to break records. I want to do crazy things.”
As he navigates his way through the season, Brevis can look towards an upcoming incoming tour from India in South Africa.
He might have recently been overlooked for a SA ‘A’ schedule against their West Indies counterparts, but applying himself to the Titans’ cause in the CSA 4-Day Series could still yield a positive outcome on the international front.
The Proteas are set to play three T20IS against the visiting India next month – matches that Brevis could be involved in.
Thereafter, three ODIS and two Tests follow, and after the conclusion of the current World Cup, who is to say Brevis will not be invited into the set-up in one of those formats?
Solid season so far
His season so far has been solid. He finished the CSA 1-Day Cup having scored the third most runs in the tournament – 372 at an average of 53.14.
He will know that his numbers in first-class cricket will require much more work, but a patient half-century off 113 balls for the Titans in their first innings against Boland recently – which he followed up with an unbeaten secondinnings run-a-ball 58 against the Dolphins this week – could provide a foundation to engineer something off.
The second edition of the SA20 also looms large early next year, and there will be plenty of opportunities to exhibit his style for MI Cape Town then.
The road to greatness, however, is long and forever winding, and Brevis’ quest has only just begun.