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Corbin Bosch starred for South Africa in the final of the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2014 against Pakistan. Nishad Pai Vaidya spoke to Bosch after the final.
On February 14, 2014, Corbin Bosch’s mind went down memory lane, revisiting some unfortunate events even as South Africa commenced their campaign at the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2014. Exactly 14 years to the day, his father Tertius Bosch, the former South African Test bowler, passed away in mysterious circumstances. Junior Bosch was only about five-years-old then and all those years later, he donned the jersey for his country at the Under-19 level — waiting to make his father proud. But on March 1, 2014, he led South Africa to their first world title in 15 years with a fantastic performance in the final. Senior Bosch would have been proud!
“It feels something else. Especially performing like this in the final, the last thing I would have thought was me playing in a final a year and a half ago. Being in the Under-19s and winning a World Cup is just unreal. Following my dad’s footsteps, he also played the World Cup, makes it extra bit special,” Bosch said after his spell of four for 15 bowled Pakistan out for 131 — a score comfortably overhauled by the batsmen. Bosch walked away with the Man of the Match award. He had been eclipsed by the other pacemen through the tournament, Kagiso Rabada in particular, but he was consistent throughout and saved his best for the big day.
It is his father’s memory that has kept Bosch going and inspired him to take up the sport. “I think I started playing since I could walk. I would play with a little bat or a ball when I was young and then I would go watch my dad play cricket especially when we were staying in Natal,” Bosch reflected on his earliest cricketing memories. Although he lost his father at a very young age, he does remember him thanks to a sport that continues to connect them. “Yes. I have got a lot of videos of him. I watched the game he played in the World Cup. It’s nice to know that. He is there in my heart,” said Bosch.
Senior Bosch was a very quick bowler who could clock over 145 kmph. When compared to his father, junior Bosch is more of a line and length bowler who hits the right areas. He isn’t express but would love to emulate his father on that front, “I wanted to be a spinner at one stage, I don’t know why. But, I think it [taking up to fast-bowling] is in the genes. Yes I would love to bowl that quick.” On the big day against Pakistan, he had three batsmen caught behind and cleaned up the innings with a good yorker. However, the three middle-order batsmen he snared, edged the ball while trying to negotiate a nagging line. Bosch’s practice had come good in that spell as it broke the back of the Pakistan batting.
In practice sessions, Bosch places a coin on the wicket and tries to hit it consistently. “You concentrate on the smaller margin you are going to miss by. So, generally I bowl with the coin. I also practice bowling variations and make sure everything is up to scratch,” Bosch says while discussing his practice regime.
While his father’s memory keeps him going, Bosch does look up to Brett Lee, Dale Steyn and Mitchell Johnson. “Brett Lee is one person I looked up to and Dale Steyn. The manner in which they played cricket and bowled is just phenomenal and now watching Mitchell Johnson bowl is inspiring. The thing about bowling is consistency and it is a matter of execution. The higher you go, the better your execution should be and I would love to have that from Lee and others. You don’t need to be the quickest in the world, but if you are the smartest, it definitely helps,” he says.
Winning the World Cup is a start for Bosch and he hopes it helps him make it big. Breaking into the South African domestic ranks isn’t easy. “Especially from where I am — the Northerns — it is quite difficult to make it through the ranks but, hopefully winning this would just fast-forward my process into moving into franchise,” Bosch hopes. It has been a wonderful story so far and senior Bosch would watch with pride from the heavens. There may be more to this budding career!
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