Durban, over the years, has enjoyed a storied relationship with the game cricket and a new chapter is yet to unfold with the Durban Super Giants set to make the port city their home for the SA20 T20 cricket tournament.
Interestingly, Lance Klusener, who will be coaching the Durban Super Giants for the inaugural SA20 season which begins in January 2023, is a local boy from Durban.
Klusener, however, isn’t the only famous cricketer the city of Durban has produced. Here’s a list of five of the most famous cricketers who hail from Durban.
Lance Klusener (South Africa)
Arguably one of the finest all rounders cricket has ever seen, Lance Klusener was born in Durban on September 4, 1971.
After starting his journey in cricket at the Durban High School, Lance Klusener, who is nicknamed Zulu due to his fluency in the native language popular in the area, went on to represent the South African national cricket team in 49 Tests and 171 ODIs over the course of a fruitful 18-year-long career.
Regarded as one of the pioneers of modern-day pinch-hitting in cricket, Klusener accounted for 3576 runs in ODIs in 137 innings, scoring at an healthy average of 41.10 and a strike rate of close to 90 - one of the best during the era. His tally included two centuries and 19 half-centuries.
As a medium pacer, he was also handy with the ball, picking up 192 wickets in the 50-over format, with a miserly economy rate of 4.70 and a strike rate of 38.2.
Though known for his impact in the limited overs of the game, Klusener boasts an enviable record in Tests too, scoring 1906 runs in 69 innings and scalping 80 wickets with the ball.
Since his retirement, Zulu has been carving out a niche for himself in the coaching realm and will be seen in the role at the upcoming edition of SA20 in Durban Super Giants’ dugout.
Graeme Pollock (South Africa)
The Pollocks are royalty in South African cricket and Graeme Pollock, born in Durban in 1944, was perhaps the clan’s most famous proponent.
South Africa’s isolation from cricket cut Graeme Pollock’s career short but the 23 Tests he played for the Proteas was enough for Sir Don Bradman to dub him as the classiest left-handed batter to ever grace the game alongside Sir Garfield Sobers.
Graeme Pollock scored 2256 Test runs for the South African team in just 41 innings, scoring at an astonishing average of 60.97. He also raked up seven centuries, including two doubles, and 11 half-tons despite his curtailed career.
Graeme’s nephew Shaun Pollock would later go on to captain the national team.
Barry Richards (South Africa)
Graeme Pollock’s fellow Hall of Famer, Barry Richards is another favourite son of Durban. Born a year after Graeme, Barry Richards’ international career was only four-Tests long before South Africa’s suspension from international cricket in 1970.
However, in these four Tests, all against powerhouses Australia, the right-hander scored 508 runs, including two centuries and as many half centuries, at an average of 72.57.
One can only wonder what numbers Barry Richards could have notched up if he was able to enjoy a full-fledged international career, but if his 28,358 runs and 80 centuries in first class cricket is any indication, it may just have put him in the running for one of the best of all time.
Hashim Amla (South Africa)
One of the most consistent performers in the modern game, Hashim Amla has been the backbone of the South African batting line-up alongside AB de Villiers for the past decade or so.
The technically gifted batter, with 9282 runs in 124 matches, is South Africa’s second-highest run scorer of all time in Tests behind Jacques Kallis. He is also the first Protea to ever score a triple century in the longest format.
Amla’s ODI record is equally impressive, standing as South Africa’s third-highest scorer of all time with 8113 in 181 matches. He’s also the fastest batsman in the world to reach 2,000 (40 innings), 3,000 (57 innings), 4,000 (81 innings) and 5,000 (101 innings) ODI runs.
He also boasts 1277 runs in just 44 T20I matches. Across formats, Hashim Amla has accounted for 55 100+ scores and 88 half-centuries - numbers fit for a true modern day legend.
Jason Roy (England)
Swashbuckling opener Jason Roy was one of the heroes behind England’s triumph in the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup in 2019. Though he plays for England, the explosive Englishman was born in Durban on July 21, 1990.
He moved to England with his family only as a 10-year-old and over the years, has proved to be a vital cog for the England cricket team’s many successes on the international stage.
Considered a limited over cricket specialist, Jason Roy has scored 3993 runs in 110 ODIs for England at a fiery strike rate of 105.99. He boasts 10 centuries and 21 half-centuries in the format.
Roy’s record in T20Is is even more impressive, with 1522 runs, including eight half tons, in 64 matches, achieved at a strike rate of over 135. He has also represented England in five Tests, scoring 187 runs aided by a single half-century.