South African cricket sensation Wian Van Zyl has put pen to paper and signed on with Cobram for the 2019-20 Murray Valley Cricket Association season.
After plundering big runs on a weekly basis, Cobram president Paul Hyde said there was always a lingering fear the Tigers’ prized asset would be pried away at the end of the season, so he was understandably thrilled with the opening batsmen’s decision.
‘‘We were sort of thinking there was a chance another club would come along and poach him because he has set tongues wagging around the region,’’ he said.
‘‘We thought somebody would probably be able to offer him a bit more than we could offer him and he would move onto greener pastures but he’s found that he’s been openly accepted at Cobram and he is really enjoying his time at the club.’’
In what seems like a staggering piece of hindsight, to Hyde’s knowledge, Van Zyl’s talents were seemingly overlooked by a host of other clubs before he signed with the Tigers.
‘‘We were basically the only club that would give him a go according to his father, so I suppose he has repaid us by re-signing and of course all the runs he has made this year,’’ he said.
‘‘Clubs just seemed to pass him by and we thought we’d get him to come over and give it a crack and see how he’d like it here.’’
Not surprisingly, Hyde said the club moved quickly to secure Van Zyl’s signature.
‘‘We have criteria we set and want players to meet and he has met them so it was an easy decision for us,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s good he’s decided to stick around. He probably indicated four or five weeks ago that he was keen to stick around next year as well.’’
While he has let his bat do the talking, Hyde said Van Zyl’s personality and influence around the club had been just as important as his mountain of runs.
‘‘He’s had a positive effect on our younger players and the group as a whole; he’s a good person to have around the club.’’