Budding batsman aims for bigger stage

Claremont Cricket Clubs Joshua Chippendale, 17, from Lansdowne, gets in a bit of batting practice inside the nets at Theo Marais Park, ahead of his sides second team clash against Milnerton, at the weekend.

Joshua Chippendale stands out from the rest and is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with.

The 17-year-old player has produced a series of eye-catching displays on the cricket pitch, and his game keeps getting better with each innings.

Joshua’sreputationasaskilled top-order batsman was again boosted by his brilliantly crafted double century for his school, Plumstead High, against Parklands College, a fortnight ago.

Joshua scored 273 not out of his team’s 378 runs, which led to a volume of calls from the whole Western Province Union to take a closer look at the youngster’s batting skills.

Joshua, from Lansdowne, is one of the go-to guys for Plumstead High and his talents saw him attracting interest in Saint Augustine Hub. He made over 600 runs for the hub last year, and it wasn’t long before Claremont Cricket Club came for the youngster’s services.

Still in his first season with the talented squad of Claremont, Joshua feels the club is the best place to take his cricket skills to a level worthy of the national team very soon.

Joshua joined the club’s third team but didn’t stay long before promotion to second team. First-team selection is now in arm’s reach for the youngster.

“Playing for South Africa is my dream, and the atmosphere and the fans is the environment I want for myself.

“I train a lot because if I want to make my dream a reality I have to perfect my playing style,” says Joshua.

He says he prefers to study the bowler and has lots of patience on the pitch, which is why he is able to score so many runs.

The powerful hitter says he is eyeing a stint in Scotland to familiarise himself with different conditions and players.

Among his achievements he also boasts 105 off just 33 balls for the Saints Hub in a super-10 match against Tygerberg in December.

At school he has been named sportsman of the year on more than three occasions.

Joshua is described by his coaches as having a unique batting ability that sets him apart from cricketers of his age group.

Hispersonalcoach,Keenan Bowers, says it’s even difficult to compare his batting style to other cricketers as he works to perfect his own unique style.

Bowers says he was impressed by the youngster’s humility and willingness to learn and decided to take him under his wing.

Bowers has been involved with the Cricket South Africa Hub and clearly knows talent when he sees it.

“Thiskidkeepsgoingfrom strengthtostrength,andpartof what he does perfectly is enjoying his game.

“Most kids put too much pressure on themselves rather than enjoying cricket, and that is the downfall for many.

“During our one-on-ones, we work a lot on technique, shot selection and the execution of the shot and his way of playing makes him noticeable.

“He is not trying to be Virat Kohli or AB De Villiers, and that is why he has so much success at this early part of his cricket development,” says Bowers.

Joshua feels his dream is getting closer and Cricket South Africa officials have also taken note and frequently speak to his father about his development.

He says the CSA coaches have said they have been eyeing him for a while, and the double century he scored a fortnight ago put him even closer on the CSA radar.