Bertus de Jong 07/04/22
2021 Topklasse runners-up Voorburg CC caused something of a stir when they announced a slew of signings ahead of the 2022 season, most prominent among them South African international batsman, Janneman Malan. Also joining VCC during the season is Malan’s elder brother, South West Districts all-rounder Andre Malan, as well as Delano Potgieter, another right arm seam all-rounder who plays for North West Dragons and also impressed for SA Emerging XI on their recent tour to Namibia, while Netherlands international Logan van Beek will be back for the 2022 season.
Janneman Malan, who was recently awarded a central contract with Cricket South Africa and won the ICC men’s emerging player of the year last year, is the most high-profile signing by a Topklasse club in some time, but he will not be staying for the entire season, arriving too late for the first round owing to his upcoming wedding and departing mid-June to join up with the South African team.
In fact all three of the South African trio as well as Van Beek will miss some part of the season, explained VCC Chair Kobus Nel, with van Beek’s wedding plans in New Zealand similarly seeing him arrive late and Potgieter staying only until mid-July, while Andre Malan will play only the back end of the season after his brother’s departure.
Though delighted with the prospect, Nel provided context to their signings, stressing that the Malan brothers’ staggered stints at VCC will in effect be covering for Sybrand Engelbrecht, who is recovering from shoulder surgery. “Sybrand’s not likely to play much this season. We’re hopeful that perhaps towards the end of the season he may be able to play some games, but it’s far from certain.” Nel added that it is also through Engelbrecht that the Malans come to VCC. “They are good friends of Sybrand’s, so it’s very much a personal connection.”
Potgieter too, comes to the club via via as the Dutch say. Emiel Bam, new to the VCC coaching team, knows Potgieter after coaching him earlier in his cricket development journey, and made the connection with the club. “Delano thought a spell in the Netherlands during the South African winter would be both good for his game and an exciting new life experience.” The seam all-rounder will also provide a measure of cover for Van Beek, who was unavailable for parts of last season and like a number of our players will likely be regularly called upon by the national team during what looks set to be a packed international summer. “Logan has been great for us of course, both on the field and for the club community, but he missed a number of games last year playing in England. The Dutch have a full schedule that will put substantial physical demands on our national players, so it’s good to have Delano for the first part of the season both for the team and also assisting club wide on the coaching side of things.”
Nel emphasised the value of the signings from a development perspective above all. “We’ve tried to take a holistic approach to move things forward, always putting our members first. What we’re striving to do is gradually raise the standard from the bottom up, from the juniors, through amateurs and up to the professional level. Having players like Janneman, Andre, Delano and Logan over for a spell is great for the whole club, and especially to support the development of our local international players. But it’s part of a broader aim where we’re attempting to create a cricket centre of excellence in which all involved can have the opportunity to develop their full potential. We have been doing this with our facilities, more recently our indoor facility and hybrid grass wickets, and strive to keep on improving all facets of our cricket club environment. Obviously signing especially Janneman has drawn a fair bit of attention, but that can only be a good thing for the league and Dutch cricket as a whole.”
In addition to the South African trio and the returning Van Beek, VCC also added brothers Musa and Shariz Ahmed to their roster for the coming season. Musa Ahmed, a Dutch-capped left handed opening bat, comes over from HCC while the younger Shariz, a leg spinner, who is also in the national set-up, joins from Groen en Wit. Conversely Netherlands international Aryan Dutt has departed the club for VRA.
Nel finished off by saying, “we’re excited about the season, but more importantly about the strong building blocks we’re putting in place to confidently move VCC into the future.”