Rowan Richards retired from professional cricket in March this year. He was with Easterns at the end, but has played for Border, Northerns, the Titans and the Warriors in his long an illustrious career.

Rowan loves the game of cricket and wants to give back so he is now coaching at Queens High School in Queenstown and even though he is new to the role, he has been called up by the Border Cricket Union to serve as team manager and assistant coach to Shannon Musto and Singatha Gcilitshana at this year’s Khaya Majola Week.

“When Border asked me to assist I jumped at the opportunity,” he said. “I never played in this week as a youngster so I’m very excited to take part this year.”

He feels that he has a lot to give to the boys and he serves as an example of someone who missed out on selection, but still ent on to play professional cricket. “I think I am an example of someone that didn’t have it all his way,” he said. “I tell the boys to carry on working hard and to know that if they don’t perform well in a game during the week they can bounce back and play well in the next game.”

It’s been a good week so far and he has already seen some outstanding talent. He is looking forward to seeing all the teams in action.

Border did not have it all their own way on day one. They bowled well and had Limpopo all out for 77 runs, but the boys thought that they had already won the match and didn’t focus on their batting and were bowled out for 103. Luckily the concentrated a little harder in their second innings and won the match by two wickets.

“The lesson learnt was that there are no easy games at this week, so you have to concentrate in every game. This is a good bunch of players. Today we were complacent, so now we will speak to the boys and make sure that they understand the importance of respecting your opposition and giving everything until the match is over,” he said.

“I was blessed to be in the changerooms of coaches like Vince Barnes, Shukri Conrad, Rob Walter, Mark Boucher just to name a few and I have played with players like AB de Villiers and Faf dui Plessis so I know what goes on in the changeroom with some of the best coaches and players in the country. I know how they deal with certain situations and it’s my job to pass on what I have learned to the boys and to assist Shannon by passing on this information. I am still new in coaching so I have to learn from the other coaches and the boys and improve my own coaching abilities.

Rowan is involved in cricket at all the levels, from KFC Mini-Cricket all the way to the Khaya Majola week and he says that cricket is in a better place that what it was when he was young. “CSA has gone into areas that they have not been into in the past and have exposed a lot of players who would not have had an opportunity in their previous structures. This has enriched the game and they have found a lot of fantastic players that they would have missed. It has also give kids a lot of opportunities to play professional cricket that I didn’t have as a kid. Cricket is in a better place now,” he said.

Shawn Belluigi