12-year-old making waves in cricket

Rudayan Naidoo. Picture: Supplied

Rudayan Naidoo. Picture: Supplied

Published May 3, 2024


CRICKET sensation Rudayan Naidoo, 12, is making waves on the pitch with his impressive skills and passion for the sport.

The grade 7 pupil at Northdene Preparatory recently helped his school team emerge victorious with his batting and bowling contributions and he was presented with the match ball used in the match final for being the Player of the Tournament.

He scored a notable 92 runs off 54 balls across 5 games in the Queensburgh and Districts six a side tournament.

Rudayan said he started playing cricket from the age of seven, when his dad bought him his first cricket kit.

“I played a lot with my dad at home and sometimes with my granddad. My dad used to play cricket when he was younger and my uncle as well. Both of them represented their schools.

"I currently represent my school’s under-13 first team and play club cricket for Hillary Malvern Cricket Club. I have also represented my school at the Kearsney College, St Henry’s and Glenwood High cricket festivals as well as had the opportunity to play in the Dolphins under-13 T20 Bash.

“I enjoy the game but what I enjoy most is having a solid batting innings, especially the thrill of hitting sixes and fours. I also enjoy bowling and taking wickets."

His favourite cricket player is Sachin Tendulkar from India.

“He is not only one of the greatest players but I also admire his mental attitude and dedication towards the game both on and off the pitch. My favourite South African cricket player at the moment is Heinrich Klaasen due to his explosive batting and shot selection, which is a style that I aspire to adopt in my batting.”

He added: “During the season, I have practice at school twice a week and I also go for club practice every Saturday. At my training sessions, I focus on improving my batting skills but I also practice bowling as I am a medium pace bowler. I come on later in the game to drop the run rate or take crucial wickets when needed.

"I also practice fielding drills for about an hour at every session, so that I remain sharp on the field. During the off season, I practice at home while trying not to break too many windows.”

When he’s not playing cricket, he plays first team hockey for his school. He also loves playing the piano and during the school holidays, enjoys online gaming with his friends. He also favours mathematics and science in school.

His long term goal is to play for the Proteas and become an international sports star.

“I would like to play cricket professionally. However, I do realise that not everyone can succeed as a sportsman and career-ending injuries can happen, so my priority is to secure a qualification in the diverse field of science and technology.”

His advice to aspiring cricketers: "Always persevere and to work hard to achieve your goals, as there was a point where I did not believe in myself as I was not achieving the goals that I set. But I did not give up and continued to practice until I finally started seeing the results of my hard work and commitment.

“I would also like to add a special mention to my parents who have been supporting me from the start of my cricketing journey, especially my dad who takes the time to teach me, play with me and improve my game altogether."

His parents - Trishan, 45, and Kovishthra Naidoo, 42 - said they were proud of what he had achieved during his fledgling cricket career thus far.

“We both try to attend every game that he plays, but due to work commitments this is not always possible. However, we have ensured that at least one of us attends a game," said his mom.

“Although he lost two years of his cricketing development due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been encouraging to see him put in the extra work and effort to raise his game to praiseworthy status. We have faith that he will continue to achieve the goals that he has set for himself, which will hopefully culminate in him one day representing the Proteas.”