Donavan Ferreira

Neil Whitaker interviews the South African cricketer

YORKSHIRE’s latest signing for the Vitality T20 is South African Donavan Ferreira.

The 25 year old made his debut for Yorkshire Vikings against Worcestershire Rapids at Headingley and it was a winning start as the Vikings had a comfortable victory over the Rapids by eight wickets with  eight overs to spare.

Ferreira said: “We couldn’t have asked for a better start. Starting off a competition like that was obviously a plus point.  I’m excited to be here for the Vitality Blast and The Hundred. The cricket over here is very competitive and the crowds are amazing. It’s just a different challenge with the different surfaces. I’ve never been to the UK before, so it’s an exciting  to explore the country and obviously  play some cricket.

The only downside to the victory for Ferreira was the Yorkshire weather coming straight from the Indian Premier League where he played for the  Rajasthan Royals.  He said: “The weather is a bit of a change for me. Coming from India it was quite hot, it’s  a bit cooler here. I’m enjoying the lads. Our team is really good. They’ve been really welcoming and that’s all you can ask for. It feels like a home here.”

“I’m going to try and play an explosive brand of cricket, to try and take the game forward and be positive. Hopefully I can contribute towards the team and to them winning. That’s the most important part, to put the team first and not really worry about your own stats and your own strike-rates.It’s special sharing a changing room with people like Dawid Malan, Shan Masood and Joe Rooty.  Hopefully they can set up the games nicely for me to come in at the end and play an explosive brand. That’s the message that coach Ottis Gibson  has given me, to express myself, be who I am, and that’s to take the game forward. If I come off then hopefully we’ll win the match. It’s reassuring to have the coach backing you from the start.”

As well as playing T20 cricket  in his native South Africa, India and now England he is not in South Africa’s squad for the T20 World Cup. He said: “To be fair, I think South Africa has picked the best T20 squad. If I’d performed a bit better I would be in the squad. You can’t really be disappointed if you didn’t actually put the results on the field. There are other guys who did better than me. It’s just motivated me to do better. It’s nice to get on the park and play a lot of games. Each day is a new day and a new challenge. All you can ask for is the opportunity to express yourself.

“I’m not really thinking about putting myself back in the international team. It’s more important about what Yorkshire requires and how can I contribute to the team. If you get ahead of yourself you can fall short.”

It’s not surprising that that the 25 year old doesn’t want to play Championship cricket, he said: “The ball swings too much over here. I think my repertoire, my niche is white-ball cricket at this moment in time. I don’t want to damage my confidence and nick off in the red-ball stuff.”

As well as batting, he wants to be known as a finisher in T20 cricket, he can also bowl. “I bowl a bit of off-spin as well.  But lads are doing a good job so I’ll just stay behind the stumps. It helps me to keep my hands warm.” Against the Rapids he took a stumping and a catch off Dan Moriarty and was also involved in a run out. “I was relieved that I got that stumping because  I hadn’t kept for about four months. It was nice to get that under my belt.

I want to be a nightmare to coaches because you’re giving three or four skills - bat, ball, in the field, behind the stumps. You need to keep adding to your basket.”

With the  Rajasthan Royals Donavan played with England’s T20 captain Jos Buttler. “I spent a lot of time with Buttler, off the field as well. He’s a magnificent player. I don’t need to say that. His mindset and his mental strength is something that is quite astonishing. Just the way he thinks about it. When he started his career he was batting at six, finishing off games, and then he moved up to opening.  So I can learn a lot because that’s where I’m batting, five/six at the moment. Just getting that information from him. You watch him bat but you never know what he’s thinking. The most important thing as a finisher is to think about the game and to have a strategic plan to actually get your team over the line.”

May 31, 2024 1:07 pm

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