Cape Town - Proteas speedster Kagiso Rabada, who boasts the second-best Test match figures in the history of South African Test cricket, was apparently was a real “drama queen” in school - but in the nicest possible way.
This according to the director of cricket at the St Stithians College, where the versatile Rabada went to school.
“Drama was his best subject in matric. You could also see he was a bit of an actor during cricket practice.”
Rabada took 13-144 in the fourth and final Test against England at SuperSport Park in Centurion earlier in the week, to record the second-best all-time figures for SA in a Test after Makhaya Ntini snared 13-132 against the West Indies in 2005.
Carol Fields, his drama teacher, said he was a very talented actor.
“He was very self-assured and always approached plays with confidence and looked great on stage.”
According to Fields, Rabada had the ability to stay true to any character.
“Once he had to portray a homophobic character in a very controversial play, Bash. He found this incredibly difficult because of his neutrality regarding social issues within society and because he is not a homophobe.
“His perseverance helped him to portray this character very well. He was also good at comedy. He has an excellent sense of humour of which the public is not necessarily aware.”
Fields said when he decided to do something and set his mind at achieving something, he would do so.
“It is not necessarily because he has talent, he has inherent power that motivates him.”
According to Jansen, it is his humility, perseverance and self-discipline that makes him such a success.
“He worked incredibly hard, and still does. His discipline, especially in terms of conditioning exercise, was incredible.
“He has always believed that perseverance pays off. Even if it seemed that they would lose, he never gave up. He gave his best and tried until the last minute.
“He always put the team above himself.”
"His humbleness has also stood him in good stead," said Jansen.
Jansen said Rabada initially struggled with his bowling technique.
One of his coaches, Bongani Ndaba, said Rabada preferred batting to bowling.
Jansen started a cricket walkway at the school. For each player in the school team who took five wickets, a tree is planted and nameplate is attached to it.
“Rabada could never take five wickets. He always took three or four. When he took his first five wickets at last year’s World Cup, he called me and asked if he could now also have his own tree at the school.”