Allrounder Onke Nyaku is pursuing his new-found passion playing of professional cricket and has just signed a contract with the Cape Cobras ahead of the new season.
Born in Umtata, Nyaku grew up in East London and matriculated from Selborne College in 2012 before making the move to Port Elizabeth to study at Nelson Mandela Bay University.
It was there that he was snapped up by the Eastern Province Academy, did the hard yards in semi-professional cricket for a few years, before he was rewarded with his franchise debut for the Warriors against his current employers the Cape Cobras in the Momentum One Day Cup in 2019.
His career has been on an upward curve ever since, representing the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants in the Mzansi Super League in 2019 and the now 25-year-old is looking forward to the challenge in Cape Town under coach Ashwell Prince.
“The move to Cape Town was really a no-brainer for me,” said Nyaku.
“The ability to work with a former Proteas cricketer in Ashwell Prince, someone who’s played a long time for the Proteas in a batting position I’d like to bat at, can only benefit my game. The City, and being able to call the iconic stadium of Newlands my home ground, was also a big plus.”
While his ability as an all-rounder in the traditional sense is there for all to see, his agility and skills as a fielder make him the complete package in the mould of a certain England cricketer who Nyaku admires.
“I naturally like being out on the field. I didn’t really watch much cricket growing up, but I’d say I’m trying to model my cricket around someone like Ben Stokes.
“My role in red-ball cricket doesn’t really change much from white-ball cricket. I want to be able to score as many runs with the bat in the middle and end for the team and to bowl with accuracy and control while striking and getting the so-called ‘big players’ of the opposition team out.”
This penchant for picking up the big fish in the opposition team will no doubt be a huge asset as he sets his sights on one day representing the Proteas, but he knows it starts with delivering match-winning performances for his new franchise.
“I’d love to play for the Proteas, but in order to do so, I’ll have to give more than 100 percent for the Cobras to achieve that, something I’m really looking forward to kick-starting very soon.”
In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo