CPL 2022: CPL is a unique experience; one of the best team environments I’ve ever been in, says Barbados Royals’ Quinton de Kock
CPL 2022: South African Quinton de Kock has acclimated well to life in the Caribbean and is currently the third-highest scorer in the current Caribbean Premier League season, only behind teammate Kyle Mayers and Kings’ Johnson Charles. The 29-year-old has scored 221 runs in six games during his brief time with the Barbados Royals, his first ever in the league, and has a strike rate of over 131.
His first experience with daily life in the CPL, and de Kock feels, he has loved every minute of it.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s encounter with Guyana Amazon Warriors, he said:
“It has been a great experience. Coming to the CPL for the first time, was a new challenge for me. However, the moment I walked in here, I was greeted by smiles throughout by the team and our extended staff members. It has to be one of the better team environments I’ve ever been in, and to say it’s my first time in the CPL, makes it even better.”
The Royals are leading the league with 12 points after six victories in seven games, and the atmosphere on the squad may be a contributing factor. “I think the best part is that we are winning matches and are also enjoying off the field. I’ve obviously played with certain people before but making new connections here within the team has been amazing.”
Talking about the CPL and what he’s made of the experience that the league provides to a player, Quinton said:
“I think this is one of the great ones. It is so much fun. I had never played here before but had always heard great things about the whole experience. It’s one of those tournaments where you will never know until you come in and see for yourself. The quality of cricket on offer has been great, and you can see that by the number of talented upcoming players from the Caribbean who are performing now.”
On the other side, de Kock, the left-sense hander’s of belonging has also been influenced by life off the field. “You know this is one of the most amazing places around the world. You come to the Caribbean, you see beautiful beaches, great food and some amazing fishing experiences. I already cannot wait to come back next year. I was telling a few people that if I could come back here every year for the rest of my cricketing career, that would be amazing. It is such a wholesome T20 experience, and surely very different from all the others.”
The Barbados Royals suffered their first loss of the campaign on Wednesday in a game that hampered by rain, but de Kock focused on the fact that the Royals Sports Group-owned team will be looking to secure their place in the playoffs with a victory over the Guyana Amazon Warriors in their upcoming match. “With the team that we have, you can see everyone has stepped up and performed – whether that is the experienced players or the younger ones. We want to make sure we can perform well in the next few matches. And get that playoff spot secured before reporting to the national team. And I’m very confident the boys can take it from there and bring the cup home.”
The wicketkeeper-batter is enthusiastic about the partnership because Barbados will be his first opportunity to experience life as a Royal. “It has been so much fun. It’s like another level of how much I’m enjoying my cricket at the moment, both on and off the field. I’ve also really enjoyed the company here, with guys like Dappa (Kyle Mayers), Big Jimbo (Rahkeem Cornwall), and Jason (Holder). There are just so many characters and everybody brings a different energy to the group. I don’t think there’s been a day where my cheeks haven’t had a cramp from laughing too much.”
De Kock, who led South Africa, questioned about if he offering advice to fellow countryman David Miller. “We obviously have a leadership group here at the Royals. Jason, Kyle and, we do the input into Dave (Miller). I think we all just surround him and help to make sure he’s finding the solutions which help the team. I think it comes very naturally to him, and he’s been doing a great job. His attitude is right up there and he’s always concerned for his players both on and off the field. That is a quality of a great leader.”
De Kock’s batting position in the CPL, where the guy from Johannesburg bats at 3 or 4, has been a fresh aspect of his game. “When I came into the team, I saw Rahkeem and Kyle being the openers. So I was prepared to bat down the order. It is something that I’ve done in the past at the beginning of my career. And I’m happy to do so again for the team,” he signed off.
The Barbados Royals Men’s Team will continue their CPL campaign when they face Guyana Amazon Warriors in their eighth match on 18th September at the Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba in Trinidad at 10.00 am local time / 07.30 pm IST.