Justin-Kemp

Born on October 2, 1977, Justin Miles Kemp from South Africa was an impactful all-rounder who could clear boundaries at will. A clean striker of the ball, he could bowl more than useful medium-pacers. His impressions in the limited-over’s format is something to dwell into as he only played a mere four Tests, not much to talk about. He played 85 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and amassed a total of 1512 runs at a reasonable average of 31.50 at a strike-rate of over 83.

One needs to understand that he majorly walked into bat in the fag end of the innings where he had to go ‘helter-skelter’ pretty early. On his birthday, Ankit Banerjee throws light on the highlights of his career.

1.  Success on Test debut: It is a dream to represent your nation in Test cricket. Making his Test debut against Sri Lanka in January 2001, he only managed 2 with the bat. With the ball, he snapped-up match-figures of 5 for 52, as South Africa won the Test.

2.  Five in six: Yuvraj Singh hit six sixes in an over and it’s not a feat that happens every day on a cricket field. Well our protagonist Kemp has achieved this feat; he smashed five in an over in a First-Class game where he went on to eventually score 188 for Eastern Province against North West.

3.  Series clincher: It was the all-important final of the tri-series in 2001. Kemp stood up and got counted; he picked up a 3 for 20, and picked the wickets of an all-set Rahul Dravid and dangerous Yuvraj Singh. South Africa went on to win the series.

4.  Indian Cricket League: Kemp’s game was well-suited for the Twenty20 format. He was signed by ICL where he turned out for the Hyderabad Heroes in 2008.

5.  Smoking marijuana: To cherish a win we usually hear cricketers tilting to alcohol, but in 2001 when the Proteas won the series in the Caribbean islands, some of their players resorted to marijuana. Kemp was one of them and was reprimanded for the same.

6.  International ton: In 2006, at Cape Town, he finally got his first three figures in international cricket. Kemp’s unbeaten 100 from 89 balls against India helped South Africa recover 76 for 6 to 274. They went on to win the game by 106 runs.

7.  CSK: He also represented the star-studded Chennai Super Kings in year 2010.

8.  Cricketing lineage: Kemp is not the first from his family to play this game at a good level. His grandfatherJohn Miles Kempplayed a solitary match for Border in 1947-48, his dad John Wesley Kemp made three appearances for the same province in between 1975 and 1977. His cousin is former South African international David Callaghan.

9.  Franchise man: Played for umpteen counties and franchises like Eastern Province, Worcestershire, Northerns, Kent, Nashua Titans, Cape Cobras and Antigua Hawksbills.

(A cricket geek to the tee, Ankit Banerjee smokes and snorts it all day long. The romance with the sport incepted since the 1996 World Cup semi-final. He is a winner of the 2011 edition of the All-India college cricket quiz.)