Klaasen is the vice-captain of the TuksCricket side and was also recently selected to represent the Titans in the eKasi Challenge. Claassen, who is an off-spinner, put in a few good performances for the side during their successful campaign at the Red Bull Campus Cricket Finals. Wessels was also instrumental in his side’s performances at the tournament having been named man of the match in both the semi-final and in the final because of his heroics with the bat.
Perdeby spoke to Klaasen and Claassen about how well they did last season.
Heinrich, you recently represented the Titans in the eKasi Challenge that was played in Soweto. What valuable lessons did you learn while playing with individuals that have represented the Proteas?
Klaasen: First of all it was a massive honour to have played with those guys. There wasn’t time really to learn a lot, but just the way they back their skill 100% even in difficult conditions stood out for me.
You were also the vice-captain of the side at the recent Red Bull Campus Cricket World Finals. What has it been like being in the leadership group for a team that has been so successful in recent times?
Klaasen: It’s incredible to be part of this unbelievable Tuks unit and to be part of the senior group of players is always a privilege. Our captain Theunis de Bruyn was magnificent, so my job was easy and I could just [go] and play my game. We [are] a very close unit, so to help the younger guys out with the things they ask is fun and I honestly enjoyed it. I have learned a lot from them as well.
South Africa isn’t really well-known for producing a lot of spinners. Do you think that this makes it difficult for batsmen in our country to face you seeing that you’re an off-spinner?
Claassen: I don’t think that it is necessarily harder for batsmen to face spin. I just feel that you can maybe outplan batsmen as a bowler and put them under pressure by doing that. So I have been working hard with the help of the world class coaches at Tuks to be able to execute certain plans during different stages of the game in order to try put batsmen under pressure in that manner.
Ruben, you bowled extremely well at the recent Red Bull Campus Cricket World Finals and now you’ve been selected for the USSA side. What are your short term goals for the future?
Claassen: Well, it’s rumoured that Varsity Cup Cricket will start sometime in the near future which [will] be an awesome opportunity to expose what you have to offer as a cricketer. But ja, in order to do that I feel that a lot of hard work still lies ahead. I mean that’s all you can do, the rest of the stuff will take care of itself.
Johan, you were instrumental in your win in the final of the Red Bull Campus Cricket World Finals. What can you attribute your recent success in terms of your batting to?
Wessels: I really worked hard on my batting just before England. I put in a lot of hours trying to get my game ready for the World Finals. But just before we went there I hit a bad patch of form. I made three ducks in a row, but I knew if I just trust in my preparation everything will be fine. So everything fell in place the final day and all the hard work paid off. But it is all thanks to God for giving me the talent and trusting him in his timing.
Has your recent selection for the USSA team given you the belief that you can work your way into the Titans side and ultimately maybe one day represent your country?
Wessels: I would love to go on and play for the Titans. It’s going to be hard work to get there but I am up for that challenge. To play for my country would just be a dream come true.