Sport - Dolphins and South Africa A all-rounder Senuran Muthusamy’s summer of contentment is set to extend beyond the domestic season when his cricket career takes him to England and India for further international exposure.
The 24-year-old’s March career-best performances of seven wickets for 83 and an unbeaten 84 with the bat against the Warriors marks him as one of the finest talents as an all-rounder.
He followed up that spell when he helped the KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union’s coastal side to victory in the Sunfoil Cup against Namibia at Kingsmead at the weekend.
Muthusamy picked up five wickets for 18 runs in the final, which KZN Coastal wrapped up inside two of the scheduled four days.
Muthusamy joined team-mates Calvin Savage and Zakariya Paruk in finishing among the top five of the overall averages in the three-day provincial competition.
It marked a strong end to a campaign which recently saw him selected as part of a mixed youth and professional squad by Cricket South Africa (CSA) to attend a spin camp in Mumbai, India, from April 28 to May 6 to hone his bowling skills.
Temba Bavuma, Zubayr Hamza, and provincial teammate Keshav Maharaj are some of the other names on the list of 16 players.
Muthusamy, a Clifton old boy and the holder of a media marketing degree from the University of Kwazulu-Natal, is naturally gifted with ball and bat.
His earliest days at the crease date back to when he was three years old.
The first hard-ball cricket match he played was for the under-9 Clifton A team at Merchiston in Pietermaritzburg.
Having represented Clifton and the KwaZulu-Natal Coastal Cricket team as an amateur cricket player, Muthusamy made his professional debut against the Cape Cobras at Newlands, Cape Town, for the Hollywoodbets Dolphins.
Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara is among the left-hander’s favourite players.
“I think there are a lot of things that I like about certain players. Personally, Kumar Sangakkara is someone I have always idolised and looked up to.
"The way he carries himself, and the way he has led his life is exemplary. As well as Hashim Amla, of course, he is one of the legends of South African cricket. Those two have had the biggest impact on the way I’d like to play cricket.”
Muthusamy’s goal is to play on any team he is selected for as a batsman and as a front-line bowler.
He tests batsmen regularly with his artistic left-arm spin bowling and possesses great prowess with a bat.
Against the touring Australians, he scored a pair of 30s for the SA A outfit in February.
Muthusamy added: “A good old solid forward defensive gets me happy because the bowlers hate seeing that, but I enjoy all the strokes in my arsenal equally.”
Muthusamy is grateful to be useful with the ball and bat because he is hardly ever out of the game.
However, he strongly feels that as long as he is able to contribute in a match or break a partnership, it will be a good day on the pitch.
When asked to offer advice to young cricketers in pursuit of a professional career, Muthusamy replied: “There is no real pressure or timeline to achieving your goals. It’s about sticking to it and persevering. It’s going to be tough.
“I don’t think it’s good to be fixated on one sport. It’s really important to be diverse and to keep your mind open, as well as to have a balance between your sports, academics and cultural life. Naturally, you will find your niche, and normally it takes care of you.”
Muthusamy has been signed as the professional draft pick for the 2018 season in England by the Ramsbottom Cricket Club.
He will leave for Manchester later this month and join the club on April 27, in time for their Meet the Pro Night, which brings together players, coaches and supporters.
He then jets off to India and will return to England after the spin camp to complete the domestic cricket season, which runs until September.