Cricket World Cup 2011
Van Wyk: Hudson my hero
Johann de Jager
Elegant to the last, Andrew Hudson plays another majestic drive. (Gallo)
Bloemfontein – National selection chief Andrew Hudson was Morné van Wyk’s biggest hero during his school days.
He used the same bat as Hudson, and could play pull shots similar to that of the former Proteas opening batsman.
Van Wyk says that he had looked up to dad Cobus’s favourite players from a young age, but after Hudson scored his century (163) in his Test debut in the West Indies in Barbados in 1992, he saw a lot of the stylish opening batsman in himself.
“I don’t think he realises it, and it may sound strange because he is now the selection chief. But it’s at the beginning of your high school days that you start finding heroes. I was playing good hook shots at that stage and he was also good at it,” said Van Wyk.
“My first sponsorship was from Open Championship, because Andrew [who also used Open Championship bats] was my hero. I used Open Championship for almost my entire high school career.”
Van Wyk added that former Windies captain Jimmy Adams was like an older brother for him and had the biggest influence on his career.
“He is probably the guy that had the biggest impact on me.”
Adams joined the then Free State Eagles as captain for the 2001/02 season.
“He spoke to me a lot about the psychological aspects on the game during his two years here,” said Van Wyk.
Adams was a sounding board for him and, according to Van Wyk, an example of how a cricketer should conduct himself on and off the field.
“He was almost like an older brother in cricket,” Van Wyk added.
Van Wyk was thrown in at the deep end for his national debut in the Tri-Nations final between South Africa and England at Lord’s in 2003.
His experience of the MCC headquarters in London, however, will not live as strong in his memory as the recent one at a packed Moses Mabhida Stadium. He singled out his blitz match against India there as one of the highlights of his career.