Following on from a career-best first-class double century against the Cape Cobras at Newlands last season, batsman Tony de Zorzi has made to continue his promising career under the tutelage of head coach Ashwell Prince and his assistant Faiek Davids down in the Cape.
In the past couple of seasons, De Zorzi has displayed maturity beyond his 22 years of age, having already played 33 first-class matches, 46 List A matches and 35 T20s at the domestic level. He credits this maturity to a cricketing journey which has centred on absorbing the knowledge he has received from his coaches throughout the years.
“Throughout most of my cricketing journey, I’ve had coaches who have encouraged me to read the game and take responsibility for the choices I make on the field, and I think that it started from a young age,” said De Zorzi.
“If I look at my high school years, Ryan Cook was obviously really helpful in getting me to understand momentum in a particular game. Then when I went to Tuks, Kruger (van Wyk) made me think of ways to really use the moment to win games,” he said.
“I think the skill of playing under pressure is something that is developed with experience. As well as me believing that my skill-set will allow me to perform under pressure or when the team needs me. Ultimately, when I look at players that do well under pressure, they believe that they are the person for that particular pressure moment and I think that’s a skill that has just gotten better for me throughout the years and hopefully it will continue to grow.”
One can draw a number of similarities between De Zorzi and his new coach Ashwell Prince, both left-handed batsmen, neither of them shirking their responsibility at the top of the order when their team needs them the most, and now the same drive to deliver success for the Cobras in the coming seasons.
“Firstly, I just want to be part of the team culture at the Cobras and become one of the pillars for success in the team and adding more match-winning performances. Performances or even moments that contribute massively to winning a particular game and then trophies is the main goal,” he added.
Whilst De Zorzi is one of those cricketers who analyses his game after each match, he also manages to find a balance between cricket and life outside of it and he is looking forward to exploring what the Mother City has to offer.
“I think I am a bit of both. I take note of a lot of things that I’m doing both on and off the field when things are going well so that I can try to replicate that success and make it consistent. I do enjoy talking about cricket. I spent a lot of time with my former team-mate Jonathan Vandiar off the field and we spoke about cricket most of the time and I think I learnt a lot of crucial insights, tips and tricks that don’t always come from coaches, but from guys who are currently playing or going through things themselves.”
“In terms of Cape Town, well my girlfriend wants me to go to some Clay Cafe thing, but I’m obviously in no rush to do that. I think I will definitely do a few of the touristy things for the first couple of months, like Signal Hill, Boulders Beach and Table Mountain, and then hopefully the local lads can show me some good places to eat and hang out,” he concluded.
In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo