WHY Janneman Malan’s return to North West ‘is a massive privilege’

Janneman Malan cricketJanneman Malan.

Batsman Janneman Malan’s return to North West is an opportunity to regain lost ground.

Malan left Western Province for Boland in 2021. At the time, he had already debuted for the Proteas and struck a maiden ODI century against Australia in Bloemfontein.

After joining Boland, Malan welcomed two more ODI centuries – 177 not out against Ireland in Dublin and 121 versus Sri Lanka in Colombo. There was also his 91 against India in Paarl.

Malan’s next 10 ODI innings, though, yielded only 200 runs. He has not played another ODI since October 2022. His last T20I was 15 months prior.

In March 2023, he lost his Cricket South Africa contract – a disappointing fall from favour, indeed, for 2021’s International Cricket Council Emerging Men’s Cricketer of the Year.

Bad numbers at Boland

His form at domestic level has been poor since. He averaged 19 across 14 innings in the 2023-24 4-Day Domestic Series. In the 2022-23 4-Day Domestic Series, he averaged 24 in 10 innings. In the 2023-24 One-Day Cup, Malan averaged 36. In the 2022-23 One-Day Cup, he averaged 37.

These numbers reflect a significant drop in form for a promising prospect who had averaged 64 and 44 in 2021-22’s 4-Day Domestic Series and One-Day Cup, respectively.

Janneman Malan cricket

Janneman Malan.

Big numbers for North West

Malan averaged 56 in first-class cricket and 55 in List A for North West from 2015 to 2018. North West were only competing at semi-professional level at the time, prior to South Africa’s move away from franchise cricket and return to top-tier provincial competition. But there is substance in these North West numbers, given his imminent return to Potchefstroom after the extended Boland bad patch.

“Having Janneman back in the North West Dragons colours is a massive privilege for us. He started his career here and everything he has achieved since has been awesome,” North West head coach Craig Alexander told Club Cricket SA.

“He will add value on and off the field with his experience. It’s a massive signing for us. We are looking forward to having him back.”

A ‘massive privilege’ for North West, yes, but an enormous opportunity for Cricket South Africa’s ODI Men’s Player of the Year in 2022 to shine again in 2024 and 2025.

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