Tuks 1 won their second match of the Northerns Cricket Union Premier League when they beat Irene Villagers by four wickets at AssupolTuks Oval on Saturday 6 October. After the game, Perdeby got the chance to speak to Tuks 1’s star bowler and Most Improved Elite Squad Player for 2012, Mathew Pillans.

Pillans matriculated from Pretoria Boys High School in 2009 and spent two years at the TuksCricket Academy. He decided in high school to set cricket as “a career goal”.

According to Pillans, TuksCricket has helped him improve both as a player and as an individual. He was inspired by former TuksCricket and current Tuks 1 Pierre de Bruyn (who played for the Nashua Titans and the Nashua Dolphins) as well as Anton Roux (who played for the Nashua Titans).

Pillans acknowledges that his strengths as a player can be attributed to his team. “I’m dedicated towards being the best that I can be on the field. Being around the guys creates that closeness, something that I can work off for myself to be better. It’s not about myself. It’s about everyone else,” he said.

The fast bowler’s role models in the cricketing world are Brett Lee, Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist.

According to Pillans, the key to TuksCricket’s success in recent years can largely be attributed to coach Pierre de Bruyn. Pillans said that most of what he has learnt since the start of his time at Tuks has come from De Bruyn. “I don’t think I can thank Pierre enough for what he’s done. He’s really helped me out to progress as a player, mentally and physically, also just the way he handles me as a person and a player.”

De Bruyn told Perdeby, “Mathew has a lot of potential as an all-rounder and he has improved faster than normal over the last two seasons. He is training as an absolute pro and he has a bright future.”

One of the most memorable moments of his career thus far would be the 50-over knockout final Tuks participated in at SuperSport Park earlier this year.“We needed over a run a ball. Paul Harris came in with me and we needed one run off two balls.” Pillans added that the best experience for him was scoring the winning run.

Pillans’s short-term goals at TuksCricket include being the best bowler in the Tuks attack and batting higher up the order. He said that he aims to turn professional in three years. He hopes to play for the Nashua Titans, as well as be selected for the South Africa A squad.

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