Former Crusaders Cricket Club all-rounder Kyle Simmonds is eager to remain true to his humble roots and modest character, ahead of the inaugural T20 Global League.
Simmonds was a key figure for the Durban-based team for several seasons – and struck the winning runs when they became the first community club to win the National Club Championship in more than a decade in 2015.
He has since moved to Stellenbosch University Cricket Club (Maties) – and earned higher honours at provincial, franchise and national level.
Early August 2017, meanwhile, saw the talented spin bowler and left-handed batsman hired by the Stellenbosch Kings, for R130,000 in the 16th and final round of the T20 Global League player draft.
“Club cricket is the reason I am where I am today. Playing against some of the top cricketers at club level has been a great test,” the 23-year-old Simmonds told Club Cricket SA at Wednesday’s renaming of the Stellenbosch franchise, which was previously branded the Monarchs.
“Club cricket got me into the Boland and Cape Cobras set-ups – and more recently the South African Emerging Players squad. From a club cricketer’s point of view, I want to be as humble as I can in the T20 Global League.
“It’s obviously going to be a much bigger stage, but I still just want to just enjoy a game of cricket with some mates. I want to keep that thinking – and stay relaxed about it all. I’m not a superstar, I’m just another cricketer.”
Having played club cricket for a community and university team, the levelheaded Simmonds is in the relatively unique position to comment on the differences and parallels.
“Our coach at Maties spoke to me about bringing a club cricket mentality into university cricket. When you are a community club cricketer, you look up to the university cricket clubs. Now, in university cricket, the coach wants us to look up to community club cricketers. The bond within community club cricket sees guys playing for each other, not themselves,” added Simmonds.
“University cricket has a lot more structure and is a lot more serious. It is a lot more goal-orientated. Enjoyment is probably a bit higher within community club cricket.”