Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
2 minute read
28 Sep 2017
6:30 am

Proteas captain Faf goes to bat for young fan

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

The budding cricket star’s mother said he made his pitch for the bat on the basis that his ambition is to play for the Proteas one day, like his role model, Du Plessis.

How do you get your parents to give you what you want? Well, in the digital age, you do your nagging with a slick PowerPoint presentation.

That’s what a 10-year-old did to his mom when he wanted a new cricket bat. But the genius presentation also won him major points with Proteas captain Faf du Plessis.

The budding cricket star’s mother, 33-year-old Dipuo Tshoapong, said he made his pitch for the bat on the basis that his ambition is to play for the Proteas one day, like his role model, Du Plessis.

Little did he imagine that his hard work would get him much more than that: an entire set of state-of-the-art IXU cricket gear and a meeting with the Proteas captain.

Tshoapong said her son (whose identity is being protected) had asked for a new bat before but, being one of the star pupils at his school on the field and in the classroom, simply asking was not enough.

The proud mom tweeted the presentation document, a detailed outline of the benefits of using an IXU cricket bat, and what it could do for his career … and Twitter fell in love.

It even caught the attention of Mike Stopforth of media company Cerebra, who reached out to Tshoapong and Cricket SA to arrange to make the boy’s dream come true.

“I got a call from [Stopforth] and he said he really liked my son’s presentation and he was going to arrange for a bat,” Tshoapong said.

When they met, her son was only expecting a new bat, but Stopforth and Du Plessis were there to surprise him.

“He said it was the highlight of his life, he hasn’t stopped talking about it.”

A snippet from the presentation reads: “At the current level of cricket we are playing I need what they call a ‘Select English Willow’ (to help make more runs because of the great sweetspot) and IXU ensures exactly that. All their bats (three of them) are Select English Willow, while the current bat is only a Kashmir Willow, the second-best and second-worst kind of Willow.”